Oakland Man Uses Drone to Help Rescue Pets Stranded After Hurricane Dorian - NBC Bay Area
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Oakland Man Uses Drone to Help Rescue Pets Stranded After Hurricane Dorian

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    Oakland Man Uses Drone to Rescue Pets After Hurricane Dorian

    An Oakland man is using his drone to rescue pets stranded in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. Marianne Favro reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019)

    An Oakland man is using his drone to rescue pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

    The hurricane ripped and pummeled through the Bahamas with 25-foot waves and winds up to 200 mph, leaving hundreds of dogs and cats stranded and starving.

    "I was flying the drone over the hardest hit area...it looked like a nuclear bomb had gone off," Douglas Thron said.

    Thron spotted a dog with his drone, which he nicknamed Duke, and brought him food. The dog was later flown to Nassau Island, where he is rehabilitating. Thron used the same process to rescue a dozen other dogs and cats that had miraculously survived.

    Even though more than 50 people died in the hurricane, officials report 1,300 remain missing.

    "Literally there was no tree house or car that had not been overturned or shredded apart," Thron said

    Thron is an aerial cinematographer who has worked in the aftermath of many disasters. He helped locate lost pets after the Camp Fire, but he said this was different.

    "There were dead dogs, cats, dead people under the rubble," he said. "I just made a vow to go out and keep helping as much as I can."

    Thron plans to add infrared to his drone and head back to the Bahamas this weekend to search and rescue more pets.

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