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Video: Drone helps find dog lost for a week

The breeder of a Great Pyrenees that ran away on Canada Day is grateful for the way the community jumped in to support the search.

THUNDER BAY — Brave the dog is safely back at home, thanks to the efforts of a Thunder Bay drone operator and an entire community of supporters.

The 10-month-old Great Pyrenees came to join a local family on Canada Day, but slipped out of his new collar and ran into the bush in O'Connor Township.

The family posted about his disappearance on a local website for lost pets.

One week later, in the early hours of Monday morning, Brave was recovered.

"He's pretty traumatized and he's pretty skinny. He had a wounded leg and a bacterial infection, probably from drinking poor water. So he just needs some recovery time. He's really subdued, and I think maybe he was avoiding predators out there," Brave's breeder told TBnewswatch in an interview Wednesday.

She requested that her name not be disclosed for personal reasons.

The breeder said "what an amazing community we have" while naming numerous individuals and groups who contributed to the hunt for Brave.

"I didn't know such a beautiful community existed for the lost pet world. I was so incredibly impressed, and have so much gratitude for all the people. People were offering to come out and help, and 'wow,' that's all I've got to say."

She said she's particularly grateful to Andy Plater, the drone operator who posted a video about the search on YouTube.

When Plater was contacted, he initially thought he wouldn't have the time to go out and deploy his gear, but he leaped into action when he learned there had been a sighting of Brave.

"I ran out there to try and help, and to get a drone up in the air. They had already been searching all week. I was out there about three hours or so when I spotted him. He ultimately ran right back into the bush as soon as we saw him."

Plater said the video showed a trail where the dog had been running in and out of the bush, likely every day, so he advised the family to keep a close eye on that specific location.

"The family went out and they were camping overnight, basically. They came back at two in the morning, and he was sitting there, on the blanket they had put out there, right in the spot . . . And that's where they got him."

The breeder believes her decision to bring the dog's father to the area to walk bush trails and mark them with his scent was a crucially important move.

"I think the marking brought him out, and somebody then saw him for the first time . . . I think that's something for everybody to think of. Where we came out and spoke to a neighbour, that's where he was seen the next day."

The happy conclusion to one lost dog's story is providing a little bit of hope for another family that's been looking for its pet for over half a year.

In a Facebook post celebrating the recovery of Brave, Ryan Klug wrote "Through all this heartbreak and dead ends, I feel joy seeing a success story."

Klug, who lives in the Slate River Valley, told TBnewswatch his purebred standard poodle, three-year-old Esme, disappeared last New Year's Eve.

The family enlisted Plater's help, and he spent about 30 hours searching at various times with his drone.

"I haven't given up. I think at this point we've exhausted everywhere we can go, physically. I cancelled holidays and paid out sick days and stuff like that just to find her," Klug said.

He added: "I can't honestly say enough about that guy. He was very patient . . . Andy was just fantastic."



Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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