Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 28, 2013

Pa. State Police looking for 4-legged recruits

Mounted patrol used statewide

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania State Police is looking for a few good horses.

The force’s 25-horse mounted patrol unit is seeking donations of horses to be used statewide for searches, crowd control, security and patrol operations of remote areas.  

“Pennsylvania troopers have a long history of patrolling from horseback,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said. “Since 1905, state police ranks have included horses — and since then, with all the advanced technology, the horse is still a reliable tool in police work.”

Horses must be geldings between the ages of 5 and 15 years old. The horse has to stand at least 16 hands tall  — 5 foot 4 inches — at the shoulder, but less than 18 hands tall. Drafts and draft-crosses are preferred. Thoroughbreds and other “hot bloods” are less desirable.

“The horses are effective in crowds because they elevate troopers, enabling them to see over people’s heads,” Noonan said. “Mounted troopers also participate in parades, demonstrations and other public relations activities based on availability.”

The animals must have quiet, sound dispositions and be free of serious stable vices. Horses will be accepted on a 90-day trial basis to determine their suitability. A veterinary examination will also be performed.

The Pennsylvania State Police maintains a stable in Hershey and relies solely on donations for animals.   

“Horses have been donated over the years from diverse backgrounds — some were racehorses, others were family pets,” Noonan said.

To make a donation or get more information, please contact Cpl. Michael Funk  at 717-533-9111, ext. 321 or at mifunk@pa.gov.

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