Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Funeral for fallen police horse

Toronto, Canada:

"Brigadier was a "true hero" who made "the ultimate sacrifice," he said.
The eight-year-old Belgian cross, who stood 16 hands high and weighed more than 680
kilograms, was severely injured Feb. 24 when Bradfield tried to talk to an angry
motorist waiting in line at a drive-through ATM.
Police allege the driver made a U-turn and barrelled into Brigadier, smashing his front legs and
catapulting the chestnut-coloured horse over the roof of the vehicle.
As a crowd of horrified passersby gathered nearby, a police bullet ended Brigadier's
life as he thrashed around in pain and fear on the street where he had fallen. "

What kind of a person deliberately rams their car into a police horse?

And there is also this:

"Is this really how Toronto's finest want to spend taxpayer's money?
I am both a horse owner and a horse lover, but let's get real. Memorial services and the
public funds for them are for people, not animals." source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060308.LETTERS08-12/TPStory/Comment

I suppose you could take it further and say that it's waste of money for funerals for people too (after all, they're dead, right?) but the point of the funeral isn't for the deceased, it's for the living to remember them. If police officers want to have a funeral in memory of a police horse, then I think that's great. The horse was a part of their lives and it would be disrespectful (and probably upsetting to the officers) to just dump the body without any kind of official goodbye.

In the US, there are laws to protect police animals, but in Canada it's different:

"...Dozens of U.S. states have enacted laws to tackle the problem. Most, such as
Virginia and Minnesota, now make it a felony to kill a police animal. Others,
such as Ohio and Florida, even make harassing or interfering with a police
animal a crime. In 2000, the U.S. congress also enacted laws protecting animals
in federal law enforcement. "Sorry for the pun," says Watson, secretary for
the North American Police Work Dog Association, "but we finally have laws on the
books that have teeth in them to protect our dogs." ... Watson
maintains the laws have "decreased the assaults on the police animals."
North of the border, however, it's a much different story.
On Feb. 24, Brigadier, a majestic Belgian cross police horse, was violently struck in what
police call a deliberate hit and run in Scarborough. "Gentle Giant" had to be
shot to end his suffering. His rider, Const. Kevin Bradfield, broke his ribs and
had neck and leg injuries. Dirk Sankersingh is charged with dangerous operation
of a vehicle causing bodily harm and failing to remain at the scene of an
accident. Neither charge relates to the horse. Source: http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&cid=1141513810373

No charges for fatally injuring the horse? If someone deliberately drove into a privately owned horse, I would think there would be some kind of charges for that!