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Do you do Search and Rescue (SAR)?

A twenty-two-year-old horse named Milo busted through the fencing of its pasture and was missing for four days. Just hours after being called in to help search for the horse, Vermont Drone located it in the last few minutes of daylight.
Vermont Drone has a proven track record of safely locating many lost pets and animals for their owners and participating in successful searches for missing persons. Our success stories are a testament to our commitment and capability, offering hope to those in need.

We may be able to help assist with a missing person or lost pet or animal search if all the following criteria have been met: (If unsure about anything below, we are happy to discuss and determine eligibility with the missing person’s family or animal’s owner.)

  1. For missing persons: we will defer to and coordinate with local or state law enforcement or rescue teams.
    For lost animals: A traditional search must already be in progress. (Posted signs around the neighborhood. Posted messages to NextDoor, Front Porch Forum, Facebook, etc. Also, talk with neighbors that do not use those services.)
  2. The person or animal must have been last spotted within the last 24 hours and within a general area of 1-2 square miles repeatedly, or repeatedly spotted within the last 24 hours traveling in a specific direction along a road, trail, river, brook, or other physical boundaries;
  3. Vegitation in the search area must be thin enough to be still able to spot the size and color and/or thermal signature of the missing person or lost animal from the air;
  4. Weather conditions and flight area must allow for safe takeoff/landing and flight operation. (We do not perform SAR missions at night or twilight, during snow, sleet, rain, fog/low visibility, or sustained winds over 25MPH.);
  5. Flight area must be eligible for FAA/ATC flight authorization;
  6. And for missing persons: volunteers or professionals must be available on-site and can transverse the landscape to a located person.
    For lost animals, the community’s involvement is crucial. A traditional search must already be in progress. (Posted signs around the neighborhood. Posted messages to NextDoor, Front Porch Forum, Facebook, etc. Also, talk with neighbors who do not use those services.) Persons familiar with the animal must be available on-site and can transverse the landscape to a located animal if the animal is located. This community involvement is a key part of our search process.

    We highly suggest owners have humane traps/food ready as most lost animals are in a “survival mode” or “panic mode” and often no longer respond to their owners calling them, using trained commands, or approaching them. They may even run away again when approached by someone they have always trusted and responded to in the past.

Other conditions that might limit the odds of a successful search may also exclude our ability to assist or locate the person or animal.

Unfortunately, the equipment and training/practice for these services are very costly. We must charge a non-refundable fee upfront to cover the cost of performing the flights, maintaining our gear and equipment, other costs/fees, and the cost of travel. This fee varies by location, equipment that will be used, staff availability, and other associated costs, but generally is around $375-675 for the first two hours on-site (each day). Additional hours requested after the first 2 hours on-site are $150-300/hour. But please beware, we do not recommend continuing a drone SAR over 2 hours unless the person or animal has been spotted again in another area.

We accept donations on behalf of anyone who cannot afford these services.

To engage our SAR services, please contact us. Please provide the complete street address or GPS location of the last observed location. (If a street address is not available, we highly recommend using the What 3 Words website/app instead of raw GPS coordinates.)

Category: FAQs
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