An 18-month-old golden retriever named "Kenyon" has been named an honorary narcotics K-9 for life by the US Yamhill County Sheriff's Office after digging up a suspicious item in a family garden that turned out to be roughly $85,000 (£66,200) worth of black tar heroin.

Kenyon's owners, who wished to remain anonymous, thought Kenyon had located a time capsule buried by the previous homeowners and so they filmed themselves opening it.

The pooch, as it turned out, had instead managed to sniff out two bags of illegal class-A drugs.

"Once opened, they quickly learned it was not a time capsule but more likely some type of controlled substance," the police said on social media.

The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office, which is based in the US state of Oregon, later identified the substance as more than 15 ounces of heroin.

The news first emerged this week (Thursday 17 August ) from the Yamhill County Sheriff's Facebook page (via Australian Broadcasting Corporation), where images of the dog's find were first published.

In one picture, Kenyon was snapped sitting proudly, with his tongue dangling out of his mouth, as an officer awarded him a medal for his work. A second image shows the long tube-shaped capsule that the drugs were found in alongside two bags of the jet-black substance.

Sheriff Tim Svenson praised the golden retriever for his backgarden discovery. He said: "Opioid addiction and overdose deaths are on the rise and with the help of Kenyon this large quantity of heroin is removed from our community".

Kenyon was presented with an official County K-9 citation ribbon.

Unsurprisingly, commenters on social media loved the feel-good news. "Great story. I'll bet somebody, somewhere is really mad about Kenyon finding their stash," one person wrote. Another added: "Good boy. Now let's hope he doesn't dig up more of the yard."

Kenyon Heroin Dog
Kenyon Heroin Dog