Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police is asking the community for donations of horses to support its mounted patrol unit.
The department maintains a stable at its training academy in Hershey and relies on donations to fill a complement of 28 horses. The animals are deployed statewide for searches, crowd control, security, and patrol of remote areas. They also participate in parades, demonstrations, and other community events.
Donated horses must be geldings between the ages of five and 15 and stand between 16 hands (5 foot 4 inches at the shoulder) and 18 hands tall. Draft and draft-crosses are the preferred breed. Thoroughbreds and other “hot bloods” are less desirable.
Animals must have quiet, sound dispositions and be free of serious stable vices. Horses will be accepted on a 120-day trial basis to determine their suitability. A veterinary examination will also be performed.
Since 2015, horse owners from across the commonwealth have donated 12 horses to the PSP mounted patrol unit. Nine horses completed the trial period. Donations typically come from horse owners who find the cost of ownership is becoming a financial strain or feel the animal would benefit from the mental and physical activity that comes with having a job.
Upon retirement, state police horses are first offered back to their original owners. The department finds them suitable homes if the original owners are unwilling or unable to accept the animals.
To arrange a donation or for more information, contact Sergeant Carrie A. Neidigh at 717-533-3463 or [email protected].