Malone Man’s Drone Helps Find Missing Dogs: 18 Rescued Since January

Retired Trooper Turns Drone Pilot to Save Lost Pets

In Malone, , Chad Tavernia is using his drone to reunite families with their lost dogs. Tavernia, a retired New York State trooper and investigator, has reportedly successfully located 18 missing dogs since late January through his venture, North Country Drone Search & Recovery.

Applying Search and Rescue Skills

After 20 years in law enforcement, Tavernia retired in 2022. He decided to apply his extensive experience to a new endeavor.

“A lot of those search and rescue principles that I apply on the dog searches are things that I did experience during my career as a trooper,” said Tavernia.

Initially, Tavernia used his drone to locate wild animals in the region, sharing his findings on Facebook. But in January, a call for help from Berkshire, , led him to focus on finding missing pets.

Malone Man's Drone Helps Find Missing Dogs: 18 Rescued Since January 2

Saving Lives, One Dog at a Time

Tavernia's efforts have been especially crucial during the harsh winter months. “Several of these dogs, I can honestly say likely would not have survived,” he said.

One notable rescue involved Amigo, a 9-month-old golden retriever from Beekmantown. Amigo ran off into the woods after hearing a UPS truck. His owner, Brian Thew, sought Tavernia's help. Tavernia flew his drone for two and a half hours, spotting a thermal image of Amigo two and a half miles away in a swamp.

Thew was able to coax Amigo out of the woods with food and treats. “The way he uses technology and the way he is, he actually uses his passion with that technology is just exceptional,” Thew praised.

Committed to the Cause

Tavernia plans to continue his service as long as he has a .

“It's something I enjoy doing. And when it's successful, it obviously makes you feel good when you've been able to help somebody get their pet back,” he said.

If you have a missing dog, you can contact Tavernia through the North Country Drone Search & Recovery Facebook page.

DroneXL's Take

Tavernia's story highlights the incredible potential of in search and rescue missions. His success in locating missing dogs underscores the valuable role drones can play in communities, providing an innovative solution to a common and distressing problem. As drone technology advances, its applications will likely expand, offering even more ways to make a positive impact.

Photos courtesy of NBC 5 news.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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