Family set up drone fundraiser in name of missing Ellie


by Wendy Johnson

A devastated family from Lymm, who have been searching for their lost Cocker Spaniel Ellie since December 5th last year, have set up a fundraiser to buy a high-tech, eye-in-the-sky that could be vital in the search and rescue of missing pets.

The Drinkwaters, from Fairfield Road, are still coming to terms with losing their five-year-old ‘fur sibling’ who ran off towards farmers’ fields near Lymm Dam. Since then, they have searched continuously, aided by experienced search teams, residents and members of the community. Although there were a few initial sightings of Ellie, her disappearance remains a mystery, but the family believe a thermal drone, used during the early stages of their searches, could have helped bring their beloved canine home.

“Due to so much support within our local area of Lymm and having been through the most awful experience in losing our beautiful golden cocker spaniel Ellie, we have made the decision to set up a GoFundMe page to buy a thermal drone.” Said owner Laura,
She added: “From the very beginning we have received support from not only family and friends but also total strangers who have rallied round helping us in so many ways. All of the support has been hugely appreciated. We knew nothing about lost dogs, and now know so much. We believe that if there was a thermal drone available to us in the first few days (we weren’t able to secure one for over a week), the outcome of our search may have been completely different.”
“We had so many wonderful people stepping up with drones, however, thermal drones are essential and the one that is highly recommended to us can fly in all weathers, without restrictions, but this comes with a price tag of just under £10,000.” Explained Laura

Laura said that she also hopes to raise enough money to purchase spare batteries as well as funding registrations for thermal drone pilots.
Laura, her husband Neil and children Josh and Saffy have reluctantly made the heartbreaking decision to scale down their search for Ellie, who they say has simply ‘vanished off the face of the earth’ and now want to focus on helping others find their lost pets.

The use of thermal drones in tracking dogs has had a high success rate. In some cases, from deployment lost dogs have been detected, tracked with exact coordinates and rescued by owners within minutes.
“We would love to be able to raise enough for at least one all-singing, all-dancing thermal drone that we would store at home.” Said Laura, “It would be available to Lymm and surrounding areas within a radius of 5 miles. This particular drone has the ability to search for missing animals and we would make it available for missing dogs and cats in the local area. If we are lucky enough to raise extra funds, we intend to purchase other search and rescue equipment.”
Laura went on to add: “We want to turn our nightmare experience into potentially another family’s positive one.”

Ellie’s drone fund has already raised nearly £3,000 – Anyone wishing to help the Drinkwaters reach their target, can do so via ‘GoFundMe’ and donate to the ‘Ellie’s Lymm Thermal Drone Fund’ page.


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1 Comment

  1. This is such a wonderful thing to do and a specialised thermal drone is absolutely essential in search and rescue.

    There are lots of people ready to give their time and devotion if only the funds could be raised to buy one for Warrington.

    Most people who lose their dogs, never thought it would happen to them. When it does, it’s essential that a thermal drone is surveying the area urgently before the dog moves out the area.

    This is a great cause and we should all contribute, every little bit helps.

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