IMPD horse dies after more than six years on mounted patrol

Photo of Colonel courtesy of Joy Smith via the IMPD Mounted Patrol and Mounted Horse Patrol Association

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department had to put down a police horse last week due to its age and pain, according to the IMPD Mounted Patrol Association and Unit.

IMPD said Colonel was put to rest humanely on June 6 after serving with them for more than six years.

“He was in a lot of pain, and after much deliberation with the officers, we recognized the best thing for Colonel was to put him to rest,” said Commander Allan Whitesell. “He was a strong horse and strong partner.”

Colonel joined the IMPD Mounted Unit in March 2012 after the department acquired him from a farm in Bloomington. Officers say he was pleasant and nonfearing– qualities that fit well with the unit.

Colonel was a Percheron Thoroughbred cross that stood about 16.2 hands (about 5.5 feet) tall and weighed 1,800 pounds.

“He was an incredibly strong horse. It was both intimidating and beautiful at the same time,” said Whitesell.

The  IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association bought Colonel, as well as the other horses, in an arrangement that protects them from auction laws when the horses begin suffering from age and illness.

The Unit’s herd has an average age of about 15 years. The association will begin the process of finding a new horse for the herd. Those who would like to donate to training and other expenses can do so here.