Drones Bring New Meaning to ‘A Dog’s Life’

News2015-09-29

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An innovative dog rescue center owner in the U.K. has come up with a new way to exercise his restless dogs. The Whitehall Dog Rescue in East Ardsley, England is a 100% no-kill dog shelter that takes in unwanted dogs that are harder to rehome due to their breed or difficult pasts before they are put to sleep by local authorities.

But keeping so many long-term residents happy and healthy is no small feat. Many busy people have enough trouble finding the time and energy to walk and play with just 1 dog a day. By using a DJI Phantom 3 as a remote-controlled Frisbee, Brian Wheelhouse, the owner of Whitehall Dog Rescue, is able to provide even the most energetic residents with sufficient activity and mental stimulation.

“Brian Wheelhouse, from Whitehall Dog Rescue, in East Ardsley, said the new approach to walking the center’s 35 dogs gives them all the exercise they need.”

High-flying solution to dog walking (BBC News)

Nonetheless, a staff member is still required to monitor the drone and keep the dogs from getting hold of the quadcopter and coming into contact with the high-speed propellers. In fact, Brian makes sure that the drones take off and land in an enclosed area that cannot be reached by any of the dogs. Even though this adds to their workload, Brian and his staff still see the drone as a worthwhile investment and a good way to socialize some of the more troubled dogs.

“You might have a dog that is a little bit funny with other dogs but because it’s attention is away from the other dogs and instead on the drone, it starts to get more comfortable being around others.”

Walkies! Then give your dog a drone... (Wakefield Express)

So far, Brian only uses his drone to tire out restless dogs at the rescue center and still relies a great deal on human staff members to help walk the dogs three times a day. But across the Atlantic, New York City dog owner Jeff Myers has come up with a new use for his drone by using it to monitor his dog’s location and check in on it from time to time. In other words, Myers used his drone to actually walk his dog.

"The long-term vision was, what if we could make every part of Manhattan have a bike lane and a dog lane—and then you'd have these drones tied to them who could go walk your dog to your mother who lives on the Upper West Side.

Drones Walking Dogs - Welcome to the Future (International Business Times)

Besides obviously appealing to busy dog owners, flying robots that can walk man’s best friend also offer clear benefits to people like Brian Wheelhouse and other no-kill shelter workers who need to walk a large number of dogs on a daily basis. With drones, a dog’s life no longer needs to be, well, a dog’s life.