Drone pilot helping dog owners hunt for missing hounds from the skies

Drone pilot Reece Ling, who is using his hobby to help find lost dogs. Picture: Reece Ling

Drone pilot Reece Ling, who is using his hobby to help find lost dogs. Picture: Reece Ling - Credit: Reece Ling

A drone pilot is putting his high-flying hobby to good use by offering to help locate lost pets.

Drone pilot Reece Ling, who is using his hobby to help find lost dogs. Picture: Reece Ling

Drone pilot Reece Ling, who is using his hobby to help find lost dogs. Picture: Reece Ling - Credit: Reece Ling

Reece Ling, of Quay Street in Halesworth, has owned a DJI Mavic Pro drone for around a year and until recently used it solely as a hobby.

However, after discovering a community group on Facebook of drone pilots assisting dog owners he decided to get involved too.

Drone SAR For Lost Dogs UK is a Facebook group on which owners of runaway pets can appeal for the help of drone pilots in their searches.

The group already has dozens of registered pilots, however, Mr Ling, 36, is one of just two in Norfolk and Waveney - with the other being in King's Lynn, more than 50 miles away as the drone flies.


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He said: 'When I saw the group I just thought it was a really good idea. I'm a big dog lover and have had Labradors, Jack Russells and golden retrievers in the past, so I know how attached to them you get.

'Particularly near where I live there are fields upon fields around us, so I know how useful a drone would be if I had a dog and it went missing.'

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Mr Ling has been registered with the group for around a month and so far has been given one mission - to help find a dog in Kessingland, which in the end was found by other means.

The father-of-one added: 'With a drone you can cover quite a wide amount of space in a short amount of time. When an animal goes missing the first few hours can be critical, so it is a good option to have.

'Drone flying started just as a hobby for me, but it's nice now that I can try and put it to this use as well.

'I would definitely recommend anybody else who flies a drone to also register - I know there are a lot of pilots in the area so the more of us that get involved, the easier it will be to find lost pets when they do go missing.'

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