Drones Track Stray Dogs in Houston for Upcoming TV Show
Published on March 29, 2015
Drones are creating buzz across the country. But in Houston, Texas, they’re being used to help with the city’s serious stray-dog problem.
Nonprofit World Animal Awareness Society (WA2S) is using the devices, complete with infrared cameras and GPS technology, to track, trap and save stray dogs in the large city. Estimates put the number of street dogs at more than 1 million.
"It’s another amazing tool," the group’s executive director, Tom McPhee, tells Houston’s KHOU 11. "The drone allows us to draw a big circle in the air as we’re filming in 4K; it’s beautiful footage."
The footage will be used in a TV show that’s expected to premiere in May. On the show, WA2S highlights the difficult work of local rescue groups.
For the project Operation Houston: Stray Dog City, volunteers will spend several days at the end of March gathering the information from the drones and cataloging it in a smartphone app, reports Popular Science. They’ll include the location, and when possible, whether the dog is a male or female, whether it’s a lactating mom and whether it’s a puppy.
The camera-equipped drones are able to search places humans aren’t able to look for stray dogs, including tracking them inside empty buildings.
The KHOU 11 report features the plight of a Pit Bull named Moma, who was found in an abandoned building by South Side Street Dogs, suffering from a severe infection. She was rushed to a local animal hospital just in time. Her rescue will be part of the documentary.
WA2S’s McPhee is no stranger to documenting animal rescue. Just after Hurricane Katrina, he went to New Orleans to film the devastating impact of the storm and its aftermath on animals. The result is award-winning documentary An American Opera: the Greatest Pet Rescue Ever.
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