Drone pilot Erica’s labour of puppy love

A WOMAN devoted to animals told how she has dedicated her time and effort to saving nearly 230 missing dogs across the country.

Erica Hart, from Thurnscoe, has helped to rescue 238 dogs using drones, thermal imaging and ground searches since 2016.

The dog lover, who has six pets of her own, runs the drone business I Spy, which helps to reconnect families with their missing animals.

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She said the rewarding role gaver her “enormous amounts of satisfaction”.

Eric said she had started out with a memorable rescue in 2016.

She explained: “It all started when my dad bought me my first DJI Phantom drone.

“I remember my dad saying that he’d seen a social media post about a missing Patterdale Cross in Barnsley.

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“It always upsets me when I see missing animal posts and this is why I wanted to do something about it.

“I contacted the owner, who lived in Wombwell, and asked if they needed assistance with the search with our drone.

“I got a few details from the owner and started the search.

“Animals naturally like to be near water and I noticed there was a woodland about 15 minutes from the owner’s house.

“My drone picked up what appeared to be something moving around close to trees in Wombwell Woods and it picked him up.

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“I showed the drone image to the owner and it was like he’d won the lottery.

“He burst into tears of joy.

“It really made my day and that was the story behind my first rescue.”

Erica said animals were precious to her and she now wanted to pay that forward to others.

“Dogs are just the best,” Ms Hart said.

“Animals in general have provided me with so much joy and happiness.

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“Seeing people hurt and upset when their animal is missing or stolen just breaks my heart.

“I’ve been able to reunite so many pooches with their owners and it’s fantastic.

“It’s just become second nature to help people.

“Dogs are a massive part of people’s lives and if I can help to reunite a family missing their beloved pooch, I feel I’ve done a good job.

“I now have my own Facebook group with over 3,700 followers who help to track down missing animals over the country.

“Using a drone can help massively and it’s proved to be quite successful.”

You can find out more about Erica’s searches at https://tinyurl.com/Missing-dogs-group.


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