Finding ways to use technology for good is the best part of innovation. And there’s no better example than aerial cinematographer Doug Thron. In a story we first saw on Laughing Squid, Thron combines his drone with infrared thermal technology to help locate and rescue animals after disasters.
I got the idea to basically put an infrared camera on the drone. And that way, when the ground is cool, you see the heat signature of the animal. I’ve also melted spotlights on the drone so it’s almost like a police helicopter. And then I also have a 180x zoom lens so I can see the condition of the animal.
Thron explains that these animals can be hard to find. They’re also often terrified. In these situations, time is of the essence. The drone helps find animals in record time, making a huge difference in saving them. Thron has visited many disaster sites now. He has saved animals everywhere, from the Bahamas to California to Louisiana to Australia. Altogether, his technology has allowed Thron to rescue hundreds of animals. In the wake of a disaster, Thron explains, it means everything to give families their pets back.
Thron actually adopted the first dog he rescued in the Bahamas in an even more heartwarming twist to the amazing story.
Thron now has a series documenting his rescues called Doug to the Rescue. It is available to stream on Curiosity Stream. The show’s description shares:
From the front lines of Australian bushfires to coastal towns leveled by hurricanes, drone pilot Doug Thron uses next-gen technology rigged for his unique mission to rescue pets and wildlife stranded in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
He also has a GoFundMe page open to help with the expenses of all his rescues. For those interested in donating, Thron explains how he uses the funds:
I am creating this GoFundMe page as a means to fund my rescue work and turn saving animals into my full-time job. I have always been frugal by nature, sleeping out in nature when I am traveling and eating homemade tuna wraps for most meals, but the costs of my work add up. The money you donate will help cover the prohibitively high costs of my infrared drone equipment, all travel expenses – gas, car maintenance, flights to disaster areas around the world, as well as all costs necessary to ensure that the animals I rescue receive the veterinary care and rehabilitation that they need.
Animals are everything to me. Reuniting families with their lost pets, rescuing injured, wild animals, and finding loving homes for those left in disasters is why I do what I do. Every animal deserves love and care. Your donation means the world to me and will allow me to devote my full time to saving animals and further pioneering this new exciting world of drone rescue work.
Sadly, there will always be more animals in need of rescue. But with the help of Thron and hopefully those he inspires, more than ever can be saved!