How does Drone SAR work?

Drone SAR for Lost Dogs UK has a number of administrators who have a range of experiences in lost dogs, including drone pilots, ground searchers and dog trainers.

When a lost dog is submitted the to the group, the admin team work with the owner to understand the circumstances in which the dog went missing. They provide initial advice, including scenting advice, emergency numbers and local contacts that need to be aware.


Drone SAR for Lost Dogs UK rely on volunteer pilots, who give up their time to assist in searches. There are currently over 800 volunteer pilots across the UK and NI. The admin team reference the pilot map to identify pilots in the area of the lost dog. The pilots are then tagged into the owners post on the main group page. They then make contact with the owners, to discuss updates and plan a flight search area. The pilots consist of hobby and PfCO approved pilots. They use apps such as NATS (National Air Traffic Services) to survey the flight area, contact ATC if needed, to be approved to fly in restricted areas. Ensuring that the Drone Code is followed at all times.

The pilots go above and beyond, if they are unable to fly due to airspace restrictions or weather, they will assist in a ground search. Some of the pilots have even camped out, in remote areas to carry out dusk and dawn searches.

In addition to the pilots, we also rely on a team of over 1,000 volunteer ground searchers. As well as being out on the ground searching, they also assist with a variety of search and rescue aspects, from social media sharing, putting up posters to using their local knowledge to assist owners and inform relevant people.

We believe in team work and also work with other teams, such as specialist trapping teams, who all work together with the dogs best interests at the heart of what we do.