HARVARD, Mass. - Toro, a year and a half old Shiba Inu, was separated from his owners while out for a walk last December. Toro was gone for roughly 24 hours, and for his owners, it was a difficult and long time.

"It's tough to keep your hopes up," said Matt Detora, who's family owns Toro. "You definitely kind of in your own mind go back and forth between what the reality is if he's still out there hanging on or if something happened."

What You Need To Know

  • Harvard firefighter Robert Curran used drone technology to find a lost dog back in December

  • The dog, named Toro, was separated from his owner while out for a walk in her Devens neighborhood

  • Curran was awarded the District Attorney's TEAM Award, which recognizes public safety employees who go above and beyond the call of duty

But thanks to a drone and it's thermal imaging capabilities, Toro was found not far from his Devens home. His leash got tangled up in a wooded area near the Fort Devens Museum.

Harvard volunteer firefighter Robert Curran was the man behind the drone and he helped guide Toro's owners to him.

"Told me where to go in my car right over the phone, pretty much right to the tree he was wrapped up around," said Detora. "It was a tough feeling, but it was definitely a good feeling at the end of it."

"It's sort of expected of us as firefighters that we will serve our community whether it's in the capacity of fighting fire or just somebody in need," Curran said.

Curran is part of the Harvard drone team.

"Drone technology is new, a brand new technology, a new tool for us," said Curran. "It's great to be in a community that allows us to expand our ability to serve and to protect our community."

Police Chief James Babu created the team of first responders.

"This is just another example of technology being put to good use," Babu said.

District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. awarded Curran his office’s TEAM Award for his efforts, and Toro received some recognition too. Looking back, Toro's owners said they were grateful not just for Curran, but for the technology which helped find their furry friend.

"We drove through the parking lot he was in the night before, calling his name and stuff," said Detora. "And we couldn't find him, so it had eyes that we didn't. It was definitely just a massive relief to get the call that he found him."