A British volunteer search team lured a stranded dog to safety by deploying a sausage-dangling drone to rescue the pup from drowning in the incoming tide.
Millie, a 3-year-old Jack Russell-whippet mix, went missing on Jan. 13 from her family's Hampshire home in Southern England. After several reported sightings of Millie "running around in the road," volunteers with Denmead Drone Search and Rescue located her on mudflats, the local nonprofit animal rescue group wrote in a Facebook post detailing the operation.
Volunteers initially tried rescuing Millie on foot and on kayaks, and even called on the Coast Guard, who deployed mud rescue teams to retrieve her. But each attempt appeared to push the scared dog further into dangerous territory as Millie ran to evade being captured.
"We were told if Millie wasn't moved within a few hours she would have been cut off, and the area she was in underwater, with drowning highly likely," Denmead Drone Search and Rescue wrote.
That's when one of the group's volunteer drone pilots suggested attaching a sausage to a drone hoping to lure her into a safe area.
“We didn’t think it would work, but it did,” the rescue team said.
However, they weren't out of the woods yet: Millie ate half of the sausage and ran away again. But this time, she took off to a nearby industrial area where she was captured the next day.
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Millie was eventually reunited with her relieved owners two days later.