A lost dog was discovered by drone after her desperate owner made an appeal on Facebook.
The labrador was trapped in a rapeseed field for 36 hours and was only found when a local businessman used his drone to locate her in the crop at shoulder height.
Yvonne Moores, 81, had taken Maisie, her 20-month-old puppy, for a walk in Hordle, Hampshire when she ran into the field and her lead got caught in vegetation.
After searching in vain, the concerned owner enlisted the help of drone owner Ryan Mullen, who found the dog with little daylight left.
‘We couldn’t see her – she would have died for sure’
Dame Yvonne, a former Chief Nursing Officer, said: “Maisie was on a lead but escaped and ran off to one of the large rape fields near our house.
“I called her back but the rape was very long so we couldn’t see her…it turned out the rape was twisted around her belt and she was stuck in the middle of the field.
“Without the drone we would never have found her – it’s just amazing what technology can do.
“She definitely would have died if it weren’t for social media, new technology and a wonderful family that had a drone.”
‘My daughter was obsessed with finding the dog’
After searching for Maisie with her husband, Dame Yvonne put out a call for help on a local Facebook page for someone who lived nearby and owned a drone.
She also called on sniffer dogs, but was told they were not allowed into the rape field. Some dogs are allergic to the crop, which can cause breathing difficulties and vomiting if eaten.
Mullen, 36, learned of his wife’s Facebook post and set out to find Maisie with his drone and seven-year-old daughter, who was “obsessed” with finding the Labrador.
He used his drone to scan the field from above and found the dog curled up on the ground after spotting a patch of trampled grass that gave away her location.
The father-of-four said: “My daughter was obsessed with finding the dog.
“I went outside for about half an hour, but it was very windy and the battery was dead, so we had to go home, charge and go straight back out.
“It was about 8 p.m. and we lost the light. My daughter could hear the slightest bark and when we looked at the screen we saw part of the field that had been trampled.”
‘She was over the moon to see me’
Mr. Mullen told him to stop and untangle the shoulder-high crop of his legs as he waded in to retrieve the dog.
He said: “I am 5ft 7in tall but the rapeseed came up to my shoulders, I had to have (my daughter) on my shoulder.
“It was fantastic to find her, absolutely brilliant to have a happy ending – 36 hours is a long time to lose a dog.
“My daughter would have been devastated if we hadn’t found her, so I was more excited than anyone.”
Dame Yvonne said: “We had to fight our way through the rape to get to her.
“When she heard us she barked and was overjoyed to see me. Her very long belt had pulled pretty tight around her neck.
“She knew how to go home as soon as we released her – hopefully the farmer doesn’t tell us we were trespassing.”