Pennsylvania State Police seeking horses for mounted patrol unit

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania State Police is asking residents to donate horses to join its mounted patrol unit.

The department says it relies on donations to fill a stable of 28 it has at the Academy in Hershey.

There are specification for the horses.

Police say the horses must be geldings between the ages of 5 and 15 years old and stand between 16 hands (5 foot 4 inches at the shoulder) and 18 hands tall.

State police say draft and draft-crosses are the preferred breed. They say "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," state police said.

The horses are deployed statewide for searches, crowd control, security, and patrol of remote areas. They also participate in parades, demonstrations and other community events.

When they retire, police say the horses are first offered back to their original owners. They find suitable homes if the original owners do not take the horses back.
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