Drone Technology and Rescue Dogs: A New Team

December 15, 2019
Both dog owners and people who work with dogs are finding new ways to use this technology to make the lives of their canine friends better.

The hard work that rescue dogs do never goes unnoticed. These brave rescuers have saved the lives of many people. Experts have made great efforts to improve their training every day and to achieve the best results. Joining canine and human intelligence, a new combination comes forth: drone technology and rescue dogs. Would you like to know what this initiative is all about and what the results are? Well, we’ll tell you if you read on!

In theory, experts have been using this interesting technique only in Switzerland. However, we hope that very soon drones and rescue dogs will start to be implemented all over the world.

Why is it necessary to support searches with drone technology?

When we think about missing people, kidnapped individuals, or young girls who’ve fled their homes sometimes come to mind. However, there’s much more to it than just that.

In Switzerland, a fairly developed country, between 3,000 and 5,000 people disappear every year. Among the list of commonly missing people are hikers, cyclists, people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and children.

A drone technology expert and a rescue dog.
Photo source: www.viraldiario.com

Rescue dogs have been doing an excellent job in this field for years. But, backing up their work by giving good support has been vital to achieving greater success in searches for missing people.

The world would be a better place if everyone had the ability to love unconditionally like a dog.

-MK Clinton.

How does this “special team” work?

Rescue dogs and drones have been working together since the end of 2016. In fact, they’ve already participated in twelve search and rescue operations.

When a missing person is reported, and the green light is given for the search to begin, the drone technology joins the team, which is controlled by an expert. Having a view from up in the air sharpens the search and increases the search’s success rate. Moreover, the drone offers a point of view and scope of vision the dog can’t get.

If the drone detects something, the expert quickly informs the team and they proceed to the site. Joining the dog’s incredible sense of smell with this technology and human intelligence has no doubt been one of the best ideas of the last decade.

What are the advantages of this new invention?

Whenever a rescue search is extended because the missing person hasn’t been found, then helicopters are usually deployed to support the search. However, doing this is expensive as it involves costs for the aircraft in question, the crew members’ salary, and the fuel it consumes. All this could add up to around US$50,000.

In addition, because of their size, helicopters can’t delve deeply into some kinds of terrain and the view they get from the air may not be as precise.

A drone, on the other hand, can get over all of these obstacles. They’re controlled remotely, have a small size, can reach otherwise inaccessible places, and possess super precise views of the terrain.

The Swiss Federation of Civil Drones

According to the Swiss Federation of Civil Drones‘ president, Ueli Sager:

“We can perform searches in areas that are difficult for dogs to access. We can also scan large areas in a short time and leave those inaccessible for drones to be scouted by dogs, such as forests.”

Technology alone is not enough. We also have to put our hearts into it.

-Erase by Jane Goodall-

The Swiss Federation of Civil Drones performs search and rescue work on a voluntary basis, so the expenses are basically non-existent.

Rescue dogs training in a pool.


Experts have demonstrated this new combination’s success and it’s likely that other organizations will soon start replicating this in other countries.

To think that technology can be used for such a noble purpose is undoubtedly incredibly satisfying. We love initiatives of this kind, especially if they relate to our furry friends. We wanted to share this amazing news with you, hoping that you’ll also wish that it’ll soon reach your country and others around the world.