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A lost pet or animal can be a heart wrenching and stressful time, often leaving their owners feeling helpless. However, today's technology has dramatically improved the chances of successfully reuniting lost animals with their owners. The Project Reunite service was created by Love 2 Fly to bring hope to animals and their loved ones in Western North Carolina and beyond: Our mission is to provide aerial search and find services and reunite lost pets and animals with their families and owners using state of the art drone technologies with Thermal Imaging.

Thermal imaging cameras detect the heat signature emitted by the animal, making them incredibly useful for locating lost animals in difficult terrain or areas with limited visibility. In some cases, the difficulty of the terrain can make it dangerous for people to access the area. Searching rough terrain, heavily wooded areas, or even disaster areas with drones, can help pinpoint the location of the lost animal before sending personnel into the area, greatly improving the safety and efficiency of the operation. Our drones in the air can scan vast areas quickly, increasing the chances of finding the lost animal in a timely manner. Working in concert with the Thermal capabilities of our drones, the high-resolution visable cameras can capture images that can be used to track the animals movements.

 

For all immediate or emergency needs please contact us at our mobile numbers 
Tim (978) 337-1166 or Gwen (561) 706-6637. For non-emergencies and all other business, please contact us at our office number (828) 440-0248 or email at info@love2fly.us

side by side camera view

Side by Side view showing the Thermal camera view on the left and the Visable camera view on the right. The side by side view allows us to zoom in to confirm the heat signature is of the lost animal

Screen shot from a controller, looking at the Thermal camera view. We can mirror this view to a larger monitor during searches to allow for a real time look by other personnel

thermal shot from controller
  • What Services Do We Offer?
    We offer aerial search services using drones to help locate lost pets and animals. At the core, our mission is to reunite and bring families back together. We understand how it can be a stressful and emotional time when a pet gets lost so our goal is to provide peace of mind during these times. In many cases we work in complement to the efforts of ground search personnel, animal rescue groups and first responders. We are passionate about what we do and how we get to do it. However, what really drives us is that we can give back to the communities that need our help.
  • I've Lost My Pet, When Should I Call Project Reunite?
    The first hours, days are critical. The earlier we can get up in the air to search, the higher the odds we can pinpoint the pet's location. We understand that it's human nature to want to perform your own searches first before contacting or hiring others to help however, those search efforts can be done in parallel with our services to locate the pet. As days and weeks go by after the pet is lost or after there have been sightings, the odds of pinpointing the pet's location can decrease. It can become a needle in a haystack situation. Before we undertake any search, we will go through some extensive questioning to understand the situation and animal behavior to help increase the chances of success.
  • What Is The Cost Of Our Service?
    Our current rate is $100.00 per search up to 2 hours plus $1.00 per mile round trip from our home base of Columbus, NC. For additional return searches of the same lost animal, we will work with the owner to determine a customized cost.
  • What Type Of Payment Methods Do We Accept For Our Services?
    We accept Cash, Check and the following payment methods for all of our services. All transactions are securely completed through 3rd party payment processors; Love 2 Fly does not record or maintain any personal financial information from our transactions.
  • What Geographic Areas Do We Cover?
    Due to the potential urgency of a search and scheduling, we currently will work within a 50 square mile radius of Columbus, NC, our home base. Needs outside a 50 mile square radius will be addressed on a case by case basis.
  • What Type Of Animals Can We Search For?
    We are equipped to search for dogs, horses and other larger livestock. For other animals, we will work with the animal owners to determine if the situation warrants use of a drone.
  • What Type Of Drone Equipment Do We Use?
    We utilize the following drone equipment: * Maggie Mae - DJI Mavic Enterprise 3T - Thermal Drone * Reba - DJI Air 3 * Dolly - Autel Robotics EVO II * Tanya - Autel Robotics Nano+ In addition, we have various hardware and software supporting our efforts as well as 2 way radios to allow for real time communication during operations.
  • How Long Does It Take To Deploy Our Services?
    Once onsite, we will go through some planning and tactical steps, discussing the current operations status with ground search personnel. Once it is determined that we can fly, we can have our drone(s) in the air in a few minutes. We do understand that many cases can require urgency; we will work efficiently to optimize the aerial search operation.
  • What Are The Best Conditions To Conduct Flights And Searches?
    We understand that we cannot always plan or predict weather however, ideally, the most successful searches will take place in certain types of weather than others. Cloudy or overcast days, cooler days, early morning hours, dusk, all tend to be better for searching with Thermal imaging. The ability to pick up heat signatures increases when there are starker differences between the pet's heat and their surroundings. The reverse of that is bright sunny days, middle of the day heat. When the sun is at it's hottest, it can obscure or scramble heat signatures and cause complications or cause us to miss what could be the lost animal.
  • Are There Situations Where We Cannot Fly?
    Yes! We do our best to respond to where we are needed however there may be situations where we cannot operate. We are fully licensed by the FAA and are required to follow certain rules and regulations with regards to drone/UAS operations. Situations that effect our ability to launch are: * Airspace - certain airspace is restricted or prohibited from flying drones (i.e. areas near airports, military facilities, prison/detention centers, some hospitals). In some cases, areas that typically do not have restrictions, may have temporary rules restricting drone flights. These can include special events, sporting events, visiting dignitaries and other situations that require heightened security measures. * Geographic areas - By rule, we are not allowed to launch or land drones within state park boundaries or national forest areas. It does not prevent us from flying over these areas however if the search area encompasses a large area within certain boundaries, we may have limited range and efficiency to conduct searches. * Weather - We do understand that bad weather can increase the urgency of a search, however in some cases, bad weather will dictate whether we can go up in the air. Cloud ceilings, rain/snow, high winds etc., can not only effect the efficiency of the search but it can also damage our equipment. In cases where weather is an obstacle, we will work closely with ground search personnel to continue searching and determine the best time to resume the aerial search. During initial qualification of the situation, we will research our ability to launch a drone in the specified geographic areas where the pet was sighted. If we cannot fly based on normal regulations, we will communicate it immediately so ground search efforts can be adjusted on increased. TFRs or temporary flight restrictions, are typically short term, however it can delay when we can get in the air; we will communicate timelines and coordinate with the appropriate people when necessary.
  • Do You Guarantee That You Will Find The Lost Pet?
    This is one of the toughest questions we have to answer. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we will have a successful outcome and be able to reunite the lost pet with the owner and family. There are many variables that go into a search operation. We do our best to properly plan the search operation, foreseeing as many obstacles as possible, to increase the odds of success. It is very important for us to have as much information as we can get so before we put any drones in the air, we will go through detailed questions to better qualify the operation. Establishing a background and setting expectations not only with the owners and families but also concerning the lost pet/animal is critical. The following questions will need to be answered to help us perform a better search: * When did the pet/animal become lost? * Where was the pet/animal lost from? Home? Out for a walk? Traveling? In an accident? * Has the pet been lost before? How quick did they come back? * Is the pet neutered/spayed? Male/Female? * What is the personality of the pet/animal? * What is the age/health/physical condition of the pet/animal? * Where was the pet/animal last sighted? This is very important, depending on the timeline of when the pet/animal was lost, lack of sightings may have a negative effect on the success of the search.

REMEMBER, don't lose hope. It can be discouraging if it takes longer to find the lost pet than you want it to. In many cases when a pet has wandered from their home, they do return.

These are some things that you should do immediately upon finding out your pet is missing:

  • Search the immediate area around your location or home, calmly calling your pet's name. Do not shout for the pet.

  • Contact neighbors, friends in the area, asking them to keep a lookout for the lost pet. Many households now have Ring doorbells or security cameras, ask if the pet may have been sighted that way. Also, unless the neighbor/friend knows the pet very well, and vice versa, let them know that they should contact you versus trying to capture the pet themselves. In many cases, the pet will view that person as a threat and possibly run.

  • If initial searches do not result in finding the pet, contact your local authorities such as Animal Control, local shelters and veterinarians to inquire if the pet was picked up. Also, social media can be a real friend in this situation. There are many pages on Facebook that relate to Lost and Found Pets, doing a quick search will most likely yield several pages where you can post about the lost pet.

  • In a situation where the pet was lost during a walk or outing, treat your vehicle like your home. The pet will associate it to their home point so don't move the vehicle to search for the pet.

 

at work with Tully

It's a horrible feeling finding out your beloved pet is missing. I know for Gwen and I, we would be devastated if Tully got lost and we would do anything we could to find him. We treat every search mission as if it was our own Tully that is lost  We do need to remember though, that pets, have an incredible skill at finding their way back to us.

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