They say if one door closes, there is another one that opens. It turns out that this is not only true among humans but in dogs too.

River, an adorable five-year-old Labrador, recently got sacked from her training as a guide dog. This is because she is a naughty pup who loves chasing squirrels, making her unsuitable for directing blind people.

Thankfully, River is a kind-natured pup, making her an excellent candidate as a therapy animal. The Maidstone Police Station in Kent recruited River to be their therapy dog, where she will help the vulnerable victims as well as suspects.

She will also aid the children or those with have mental illness who are taken into police custody.


German Shepherd, east german sable shepherd, gsd
Ebowalker (CC0), Pixabay

Sergeant Ian Sutton explained that they often deal with people in crisis. Although they had been arrested, they could also have a mental illness like depression or anxiety.

Sometimes, the police take young people in custody too. These kids are sometimes scared, traumatized, or have difficulty in communicating.

Officer Sutton added that these issues could be worsened when they are detained. The law enforcement unit is committed to making sure that the police custody remains a safe and supportive environment not only for the officers but for the detainees and staff too.

The “Pets as Therapy” certified River as a therapy dog back in 2016. After that, she helped the special educational needs schoolchildren.

Now, River is taking a new challenge. Kent’s Police’s dog unit trainers assessed her to make sure that she is resilient enough to deal with the police station’s unpredictable nature. In December, River successfully passed her assessment.

According to Sgt. Sutton, River offers emotional support and provides therapeutic benefits to the people in crisis. Sometimes, she also helps counter the negative behavior that they experience in custody.

The officer lauded the notable positive impact that River has contributed since she joined the police force.
Credit: Kent Police


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