Five of the Metro Police Department’s four-legged Equestrian Unit officers are heading off in search of greener pastures, hot on the heels of a group of K9 Unit members who recently retired.
Officers Silver, Venus, Misty, Jinx and Vossie bowed out due to age and/or medical reasons after years of dedicated service to the City and its residents. The horses, aged between 14 and 25, were handed over to the SPCA who will be tasked with finding them new pastures for their retirement.
Their retirement comes soon after eight of their K9 Unit colleagues also handed in their badges. Canines Kelly, Roxy, Champ Boy, Mo, Luke, Ace, Raka and Nandi have been taken into the personal care of their respective handlers.
‘Our Service Animals Unit is a crucial cog in the City’s enforcement strategy and has racked up numerous successes since inception. These wonderful animals have gone about serving Cape Town with determination and they’ve certainly not horsed around on the job,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
During April 2018, the Service Animals Unit attended to 68 complaints and conducted 41 arrests on a range of charges including murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, possession of drugs, assault and for outstanding warrants. They confiscated five firearms, 36 rounds of ammunition and an array of drugs and marine resources. The Equestrian Unit also clocked 152 patrol hours.
‘We are handing over the horses to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA with whom we have a very good working relationship. I have every confidence that the SPCA will find good homes for our officers so they can spend their retirement years peacefully and with dignity,’ added Alderman Smith.
The Equestrian Unit has lined up seven new four-legged recruits to take over from the retirees and it will be up to the one remaining experienced member, Aldo, to help show them the ropes. The unit is also in the process of hiring four more horse-riders.
‘We are delighted to see the City of Cape Town Metro Police showing such a vested interest in these horses’ care post retirement. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA will work very hard to ensure they find suitable retirement homes where they will be cared for well into their twilight years,’ said the SPCA Horse Care Unit Manager, Lindsay Willis.