Ranch helps turn horses into heroes

Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit has some equine officers with surprising pasts: Four of the 13 horses currently on the force are rescues once earmarked for the glue factory.

Darby’s trainers tried to mold him into a show horse, using harsh equipment that made him skittish and unrideable. Guinness was an underfed plow horse that could no longer work due to exhaustion.
After being purchased at auctions — where they faced slaughter — and given rest and retraining, they are now proud members of the unit.

The horses were donated to police by the Last Chance Ranch, a nonprofit Quakertown rescue that rehabilitates animals deemed unadoptable. The organization says they plan to provide up to 35 more free of charge as the unit expands, with a $1.4 million Fairmount Park stable facility set to break ground this month.

Philadelphia is the only police department in the country Last Chance is aware of that employs rescued horses, said Lori McCutcheon, founder and CEO. The partnership began last November. “We work closely with animal control, which gave us a connection to Philadelphia. When we were told police were putting the mounted patrol back together, we said, ‘Hey, we have some horses that might work for you.’” McCutcheon said.

Last Chance rescues up to 60 horses each year from auctions, animal control confiscations and surrendering owners.

Hard unit to join

Only a select few horses are considered for the Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit.

A horse must be male, neutered, between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and 5 to 15 years old. Rescuers then determine if they have the temperament to deal with an urban environment and crowd control situations and focus on trust-building and desensitization training.

The animals go through a second round of training when they reach the mounted unit and not all pass — two have been returned to the ranch so far.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.