Dog missing for 3 days found thanks to help from drone

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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- A Marshfield couple is thankful to be reunited with their dog after it was lost in a large marsh for three days.

Mollie and Steve Schrodi tell NewsChannel 7 a routine walk through a trail in the McMillan Marsh with their Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Jax ended up taking a turn for the worse last Saturday.

"He had seen something and took off after it. And wouldn't come back, I didn't hear anything from him," Steve Schrodi said.

The couple ended up coming home that night without their furry companion.

"He just brings so much energy to our house. When he was not there, it was so quiet," Mollie Schrodi explained. "And not in a good way."

After the Schrodis posted to social media that night, they and other volunteers tried to locate Jax, but with no success. When local entrepreneur and drone pilot Branden Bodendorfer was made aware of the post, he knew he had the tool just right for the job.

"We searched just over 360 acres in a couple of hours," Bodendorfer said.

Using a drone and a search team, the TriMedia Visionary and pilot scanned the McMillan Marsh. It wasn't until Tuesday afternoon that Jax was located.

"He started to bark when he saw the camera, and that helped us locate him," Bodendorfer explained. "There was a lot of tears yesterday, throughout the day, but that moment was just amazing."

"We were just overjoyed to have him back. "He looked perfect! I was so surprised, at how good he looked, I was expecting the worst," Mollie Schrodi added.

Bodendorfer says he was simply doing the right thing.

"Today it was a dog. Tomorrow it could be someone's grandma, it could be someone's child," Bodendorfer expalined. "I think anytime you can get out and exercise, train and try to successfully help somebody, you have to do it. That's our role as humans."

The Schrodis consider Bodendorfer a hero, and the reason they will likely get to spend many more happy years with their lovable canine.

"He saved Jax. There's no doubt about it. He is the reason we have Jax," Mollie Schrodi said.

The McMillan Marsh is approximately 6,500 acres in size.

Bodendorfer and TriMedia are attempting to raise funds for using new technology to be used to perform better drone rescue operations. To learn about the fundraiser, click here.