City of Fremont and the baby horse they rescued on Valentine’s Day one year ago today

Updated 4:30 pm. You can see Valentine at age one year at the Fremont Police Dept’s Facebook page.

FREMONT, CALIF. — Kale Williams writing for The San Francisco Chronicle reported the following on February 19, 2016:

The Bay Area’s favorite baby horse, an injured foal that rescuers pulled from a ravine on Valentine’s Day, has a new owner: the city of Fremont.

The colt, nicknamed Valentine for the day he was discovered, had a broken pelvis near an artery, an injury that officials said would require a $10,000 surgery. A GoFundMe page was quickly set up by the folks at the Tri-City Animal Shelter and, in less than a week, more than $15,000 had been donated by almost 200 donors.

Valentine was taken to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where police said Friday he was making “good progress.”

“UC Davis had no idea what was coming their way when he arrived on Tuesday and we are very grateful to their staff for all that they are doing to care for our Valentine,” Fremont police wrote in a post on their Facebook page.

Foal rescued by Fremont Police Department on Valentine's Day, 2016. Photo: Fremont Police Dept.

But who owned Valentine, and who would take care of him after he recovered, remained a mystery until Wednesday, when his owner came forward to discuss the animal’s future with city officials.

“After a long meeting regarding Valentine’s current medical situation and future needs, it was mutually agreed that it was in the best interest of Valentine for the owner to surrender him to the City of Fremont,” police said. “The owner was very saddened by the circumstances of what happened and also very concerned for Valentine’s future.”

In what officials said was “possibly a first for our 60-year-old city,” ownership of the baby horse was turned over to Fremont, where Animal Services staff would work to find the best long-term home for Valentine.

The vet was surprised Valentine survived after spending two nights stuck at the bottom of a steep ravine lying in a creek. California firefighters rappelled down to rescue him. He was only days old. Well done police and firefighters. You are fantastic. Thank you. —Editor, Tuesday’s Horse.

IMAGES: FREMONT POLICE DEPT.

Bethlehem’s police horses to get new home

Nicole Radzievich reporting for The Morning Call writes:

Bethlehem’s [Pennsylvania] four police horses will be moving into some new digs come fall.

Friends of the Mounted Police, a nonprofit that raises money for the unit, has signed a lease for 10 acres of land next to the Holy Saviour Cemetery on Linden Street.

Allentown Diocese, the landowner, does not immediately need the property, which is large enough to accommodate a $365,000 barn and provide enough space for Grey, Asa, Pharaoh and George to graze. The land is buffered by land that is farmed.

Tom Tenges, president of Friends of the Bethlehem Mounted Unit, said he expects to be applying for the barn permits soon and having the horses hoof it to their new home, possibly, by September.

“It is more than twice the acreage of any of the other options we looked at. The topography works perfectly for the design of our barn and the grazing fields,” Tenges said. “We look forward to construction to begin as soon as we can secure the required permits.”

The city resurrected the mounted unit in 2009 after a nearly 68-year hiatus. Since then, the unit has expanded thanks to donations by Lehigh University, which adopted Asa, and Moravian College, which adopted Grey. Tenges’ group takes care of the rest of the expenses except for police salaries, which the city pays.

Police officials describe the horses as 1,800-pound public relations machines, making officers more approachable and fostering community policing efforts.

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Detroit-based company to continue funding Detroit police horses

The unit has a long history of police work dating all the way back to 1893.

• Click on Detroit reports:

The Detroit Police Department’s mounted unit is one of the oldest in the country, and it will be around for at least the next three years thanks to a funding commitment that was announced Tuesday.

Police Chief James Craig said Detroit-based global IT staffing company, Strategic Staffing Solutions, will continue to sponsor the police horses.

The unit has a long history of police work that dates back to 1893. The unit was at its peak in the 1970s when it was five barns, 80 officers, and more than 60 horses.

It took a downfall in 2005 when Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick shut down the patrol due to budget cuts. It wasn’t until 2009 that the unit reopened as a privately supported organization through the safety foundation.

• The Detroit News, also reporting on the sponsorship renewal adds:

In March, the mounted unit announced on social media it was adding another horse, for a total of six horses and six officers and two sergeants. According to its Facebook page, horses are donated or on contractual loan.

At its peak in the 1970s, the unit had five barns, 80 officers and more than 60 horses.

The unit is stationed in Palmer Park and has taken over the former Parks and Recreation facility.

FEATURED IMAGE

On July 24, 1951, the city of Detroit celebrated its 250th anniversary. To honor the occasion, a number of special events were held. This photo, shot by Howard McGraw of the Detroit News, depicts the Detroit police on horseback with the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) standing in front, likely part of a parade. Both groups stand in front of the old Statler hotel (since demolished) located on Washington Blvd, near Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit. Photo Credit: Shorpy.com.