Scout had been missing for a week.

By Austin Cannon
October 14, 2020
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Credit: Massachusetts State Police on Facebook

While a security drone buzzing about your house on its own accord might be a little too much, the flying machines can still be useful, especially if that means finding a lost dog stuck in a marsh. 

That’s what happened in Marblehead, Mass., last week, the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) wrote on Facebook. On Wednesday, Missing Dogs Massachusetts asked if the department could help find Scout, a 10-year-old Australian shepherd mix who’d been missing for a week. 

His owners figured Scout was in a heavily wooded marsh near their home. (For the unifamiliar, a marsh is a wetland, and the ground is either submerged or saturated with water—aka a perfect place to get your feet stuck.) MSP wrote that neighbors had heard what sounded like a dog whining there at night, but multiple search parties had come up empty. 

So on Thursday, Trooper Brian Doak flew a drone with an infrared camera over the marsh. The infrared camera identified a heat source in an area thick with brush. It was Scout, who was alive but very much stuck. Doak hacked through the plants and scooped the dog up, delivering him back to his family. 

To recap: dog-finding drones = excellent. Flying around your home? We’ll see.