A Jack Russell mix named Millie slipped her lead while out for a walk in Hampshire, England. She evaded all efforts by police, firefighters and coastguards to rescue her from the dangerous mudflats.
As the tide began to rise, rescuers needed to come up with something fast to save her from drowning.
“It was a crazy idea,” Chris Taylor, with Denmead Drone Search and Rescue team (DDSAR), told The Guardian.
The nonprofit uses drones to find lost pets in Hampshire and reunite them with their families for free. They helped locate and track her as rescuers tried multiple methods to capture her.
They decided as a “last resort” to try enticing the little dog with a sausage dangling from a drone – something they hadn’t done before. The sausage was provided by a local woman and it was attached with a string to the drone.
And it worked!
“If we hadn’t had got her away from that area the tide would have come in and she would have been at risk of drowning,” recalled Taylor. “It was something we had never tried before – the sausages were the last resort, as we couldn’t reach her by kayak or any other means.”
The hungry dog followed the savory treat to higher ground and was eventually reunited with her worried mom, Emma Oakes.
Millie is safe at home with her family who shared that she is a rescue dog and timid. They are beyond happy to have her back and Oakes said, “Relief just poured over me. It was just absolutely fantastic to have her home.”
The sausage bait worked to rescue Millie because she loves food. Her mom said, “she’ll eat anything you giver her…raw carrots, cucumber – but she much prefers sausages.”
DDSAR posted photos of the rescue on Facebook and wrote, “Surprisingly it worked extremely well. Though we did have a hair standing moment when she caught the sausage and subsequently the drone. The drone was quickly released thankfully.”
The crazy idea could help save other dogs in the future. The nonprofit stated, “We certainly would consider using sausages again: every dog and search operation is always going to be different, but if we were ever in a similar situation again we would employ the same methods to lure the dog.”