Traumatised bobbies can now hug the big, gentle Leonberger dogs as part of their recovery process. The pups are regular visitors to the Police Treatment Centre in Harrogate, North Yorks, which helps officers from all over the UK deal with stress, anxiety and trauma.
Owner Ann Burrell brings her team of Leonbergers – Carnage, Havoc, Riot, Rummy, Reckless and Gangsta – to be hugged and patted by officers once a week. The breed are especially known for their gentle temperament.
Close contact with dogs is thought to slow breathing, lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
A force spokesman said: “Ann has been volunteering with her dogs for almost 20 years, taking them into local hospitals, care homes and hospices.
“Police officers are very often the first responders to dangerous incidents, dealing with death, distress and aggression. They see and hear things that most people won’t see in a lifetime.”