In the summer of 2019, a resident of Redhill, Surrey found four abandoned Cocker Spaniel puppies. The puppies were sick, starving, and abandoned. They were brought to the Millbrook Animal Centre Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) for treatment.

According to Jo Douglas, who works at the RSPCA, the pups were in a bad state when they arrived. They had crusty eyes from infection and patchy fur from skin problems. They needed to apply four types of eye drops, and two ear drops every four hours. Plus, they also need to bathe in medicated water to improve their skin health.

The staff at the center named the puppies El, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin from Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” And, after three months, their health improved significantly. Once they fully recovered from their sickness and everything they went through, all puppies found new loving homes to care for them.

However, Dustin was too energetic for the adopters to handle. He needed constant stimulation and was always on the go, so they returned him to the RSPCA. The staff found different ways to entertain Dustin and make use of his extra energy. They kept him busy by hiding tennies balls to find and by playing scent games with him.

Soon, the RSPCA staff discovered Dustin’s talent for nose work. He loves doing it and is good at it, so the team decided to contact the police and inquired if they would take him in as a recruit. By February 2020, Dustin started his training to be a search dog with the police force.

Dustin, who is now known as Badger, found his calling. He currently works with the Surrey and Sussex Dog unit alongside his partner, PC Steph Barrett. The 20-month-old pup now looks great and is good at his job of sniffing out weapons, money, and drugs for the police. Despite his sad beginnings, Badger has found his rightful place, and his once tragic story turned into a success.

Photo credits to Millbrook Animal Centre (RSPCA) via Facebook.


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