Johnson County authorities to use drone to search for missing animals

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FRANKLIN, Ind. – The next time your dog goes missing, a drone might be used to search for the pet. Johnson County Animal Control will be the first in central Indiana to buy a drone to help search for missing animals.

They won’t use it for every lost pet, but in rural areas the drone would come in handy with lost livestock.

Just last year, a group of cows got loose in the county and that difficult search did not end as well as it could’ve.

“It took hours and then we lost sight of them,” said Johnson County Animal Control Director Micheal Delp. “Several days later, one of them was struck by a vehicle. Wish we could’ve avoided that.”

A drone wouldn’t just cut down the amount of time spent searching, it could also reduce the manpower required.

“We can eliminate areas to search and pinpoint area where we need to kind of concentrate the officers,” said Delp. “Plus if you’ve got fields that are muddy that belong to farmer, we certainly don’t want to mess their fields up.”

Delp said they are still researching which drone they will purchase. He prefers an all-weather drone with longer battery life which could cost close to $3,000.

But, he said most of that would be paid for by grant money and the rest through donations.

“Time is everything and the quicker we can locate an animal and corral it or capture it, that’s paramount,” he concluded.

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