1. ITV Report

Buster, the RAF dog who saved 1,000 lives, dies

Buster on duty in Afghanistan. Credit: Ministry of Defence

Buster, a 13-year-old springer spaniel who completed five tours of duty in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq with his owner, has died.

Buster is said to have saved 1,000 lives by sniffing out improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as patrolling bases where British soldiers were based, searching vehicles at check points and conducting front-line searches for weapons, ammunitions, and explosives.

His work saw him given the honour of official lifetime mascot of the RAF Police.

Buster, seen here wearing his medals, has died after tours of Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq. Credit: Ministry of Defence

After Buster retired in 2012, his owner Flight Sergeant Will Barrow turned his experiences with Buster into a best-selling book, as well as visiting schools to talk about the heroic dog's work.

If you’re very, very lucky, there will be the one dog you would lay down your life for, and for me that dog is Buster.

– Flight Sergeant Will Barrow, RAF
Buster will be remembered for his dangerous work is hostile environments. Credit: Ministry of Defence

The RAF Police are arranging a special event to celebrate RAF Police Military Working Dogs to celebrate the contribution of dogs like Buster.

Britain's Ministry of Defence Dog Unit is the largest user of police dogs in the UK, with over 200 fully trained police dogs and handlers.