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!


  • That's TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to cry when I hear things like that. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, people can be so cruel.

    By Anonymous dancer, at 3:19 PM, March 13, 2006  

  • If "people" who don't get why a memorial for a horse is a good idea, try reading the words of one of the Cavalry officers who led the Brigadier's honour guard.


    I'd rather go to that memorial than for some ignorant people.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:57 AM, March 14, 2006  

  • Poor Brig. There really should be something done against that moron.

    Oy. The horse was a hard working animal, and deserved to have his life honored and his deeds remembered.

    By Anonymous Sarah, at 10:06 PM, March 26, 2006  

  • No matter what the situation, there will always be some that object, for whatever reason. I really think we shoud ignore people like that, and do what's right. In this case, it's right to honor a living creature that lost his life performing his very dangerous duty. As said in the article, it's not so much for the one who died as it is for the ones who worked with him, and have to go on.

    By Anonymous MyValentine, at 7:46 AM, April 13, 2006  

  • Heartbreaking. Regardless of objections, which seem to always occur, it's important that those who loved and respected this horse and his service were able to honor him as they did.

    By Anonymous Melody, at 5:02 PM, April 20, 2006  

  • It seems a very 'Western' thing not to recognise that animals should be treated with a similar degree of resect to humans in death. I guess it comes from the Christian idea of animals 'not having souls'. I never did understand that one.

    Here in Japan animal and human funerals are very similar. I recently had to organise one for my dog Kuu. You can read about it in my entry for 9th April on http://littlehouseinthepaddy.blogspot.com

    By Blogger Iain, at 4:29 AM, May 11, 2006  

  • Someone who takes the position that a funeral for a murdered police horse is not important is very much part of the problem.

    That kind of speciesism allows people to think that it's acceptable to vent their mindless rage on an innocent animal. And if they get away with that, maybe next time they will chose a child instead. Studies have shown that serial killers start out abusing animals and work their way up the social ladder to more powerful victims.

    If we allow someone to abuse an animal out of a misguided sense of human entitlement, it will undermine the value system of our nation. Remember what Ghandi said.

    You really can judge the degree of civilization of a society by the treatment of animals within it.

    By Blogger Marion @ gourmand2go.com, at 10:46 AM, May 11, 2006  

  • I think that people prove to be "animals" more often than animals themselves do...supposebly our ability to think rationally and the ability to feel compassion and sympathy separates us from the animals but I hear of more and more people everyday that act like irrational, ruthless, uncaring jerks! It would take a true "animal" too drive a car into a poor and defensless horse, especially a police horse! I also wanted to say "YAY!" for the people who had a memorial service for Brig. because it doesn't matter what species you are if you go to work everyday and put your life on the line to protect the ones who can't protect themselves. It takes a true "animal" to not be able to see that...

    By Anonymous Beth, at 11:04 AM, June 15, 2006  

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