(WKBN) – Horse donations are being accepted by the Pennsylvania State Police. Officers are looking for geldings between the ages of five and 15 to join the force’s tactical mounted section.
Sergeant Carrie Neidigh, supervisor of the tactical mounted section, says owners feel more comfortable donating their horse than selling it at auction.
“They want to see them work, but they want to make sure that they’re going to a good home and they like the fact that or the idea that when we’re done with him, they might have the chance to have him back,” Neidigh said.
Upon retirement, the original owners have the right of first refusal to have the horse back.
Otherwise, Neidigh says the horses live out the rest of their lives happily on a farm.
She says people sometimes donate due to financial strain or after a child goes off to college and loses interest in the horse, which leads to more donations this time of year.
“They’ve now started college, their interest in the horses isn’t there, now the horse is sitting so usually you see about this time of year, the interest in donations is usually a little higher,” Neidigh said.
She says the horses are used for crowd control at protests and for searches through the woods.
Neidigh thinks they help bridge the gap between police and the public.
“People can come up, they can come talk to us, they can come pet the horses. They get to learn a little bit about out police department and they walk away going ‘Wow, I never realized that police were so nice.’ Because normally people only interact with police when something bad has happened,” Neidigh said.
They are looking for geldings between the ages of 5 and 15 and between 16 and 18 hands tall.
Draft and draft-crosses are the preferred breed due to their temperament.
Anyone interested in finding out more information about donating can contact Sgt. Neidigh at 717-533-3463.