Meet police's biggest & friendliest dogs in Heritage Open Days!

'Therapy dog 'handler Dogs at Ann Burrell Harrogate Police Treatment Centre with  Pete Jack, Rummy the dog, Louise Drury, Riot the dog, and Joanne Coldwell. (1608253AM1)
'Therapy dog 'handler Dogs at Ann Burrell Harrogate Police Treatment Centre with Pete Jack, Rummy the dog, Louise Drury, Riot the dog, and Joanne Coldwell. (1608253AM1)
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What does happen inside the Police Treatment Centre in Harrogate?

Everyone is invited to find out this Sunday in a fascinating tour round St Andrew’s featuring live truncheons, police helmets, a sensory garden and a pair of giant ‘therapy dogs’.

This grand old Edwardian institution on Harlow Moor Road will be offering free tours of what it does as part of Heritage Open Days.

The building itself is 113-years-old but its facilities for police officers suffering physical or psychological injury are constantly being modernsied to ensure they’re back at work as quickly as possible.

Funded largely by police officers themselves, the refurbished centre opened to the public for the first time last year.

This Sunday it will show off its facilities from 10.30am to 4pm with a tour that includes its award-winning gardens, its physiotherapy unit and rehabilitation gym and a talk on the history of the police by volunteers from Ripon Prison and Police Museum complete with vintage truncheons and more.

As for the ‘therapy dogs’, the two mountain dogs Riot and Rummy visit the Police Treatment Centre once a week with their lovely furry coats and adorable personalities to cheer people up once a week on average.

Handler Ann Burrell, who is a volunteer with Therapy Dogs Nationwide and lives in Pannal, said: “Quite a lot of police officers are dog owners or have worked with dogs.

“When they are injured they miss them. The dogs are very popular with them. They are happy to be stroked and played with. I love coming here and the dogs enjoy it, too.”

The two German Leonbergers, aged three and 22 months, may stand two-and-a-half feet tall and weigh nearly 10 stone each but they are as cute as puppy dogs, though they need to be a lot better behaved, obviously.

Ann said: “They are lovely, very friendly and calm but they can be fairly destructive because of their size.

“They have a test after nine months to make sure they are good with people and have the right temperament to do the work.”