City’s four-legged officers retire

JP Smith with one of the retired horses.

After years of fighting crime and dedicated service, five Metro Police equestrian unit officers have retired.

Officers Vossie, Misty, Silver, Venus and Jinx have put their hooves up and are looking for greener pastures. The horses, aged between 14 and 25, have retired due to medical reasons and age.

They were handed over to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA last week and will be homed so they can enjoy their retirement years.

JP Smith the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for safety and security, said service animals have had countless successes.

“Our Service Animals Unit is a crucial cog in the City’s enforcement strategy. These wonderful animals have gone about serving Cape Town with dogged determination and they’ve certainly not horsed around on the job,” said Mr Smith.

He added, 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.

The unit confiscated five firearms, 36 rounds of ammunition and an array of drugs and marine resources.

The Equestrian Unit also clocked 152 patrol hours.

“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,” said Mr Smith.

Seven new recruits will be taking over from the retirees. One horse, Aldo will be taking over the reigns and showing the new trainees the ropes.

The unit is also in the process of hiring four more horse-riders.

Lindsay Willis, the SPCA Horse Care Unit Manager, said: “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,”.

Anyone interested in offering the horses a home can contact Willis on 021 700 4173 or 063 235 1344.