Mounted Patrol puts new horse in 'boot camp' to lose weight

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by KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM

PORTLAND -- Police work can be physically demanding. The Police Bureau knows that. It’s one reason officers and trainers have been helping a potential new member make the cut, by helping him cut weight.

His name? "Murphy's Law." He's a horse.

When Mounted Patrol veteran "Ian," got sick and died, officers had to find a new horse quickly.

They spotted "Murphy's Law" for sale on Craigslist for $3,000. He was just what they were looking for, except that he was 200 pounds overweight.

That was December. Since then, Murphy's Law been working hard with his trainers, running three times a day.

Photos: Mounted Patrol trainee 'Murphy's Law'

Typically, a police horse gets 60 days to prove himself and make the cut. But because of Murphy's special situation, he's getting 90 days.

With a month left to go before his physical, Murphy's trainers were optimistic that Murphy would pass and be able to join the mounted patrol.

"Oh I have a lot of faith in him," said trainer Jennifer Mack. "If he fails the vet exam he's out, but his attitude toward training, he's fantastic."

The bureau's Mounted Patrol played a key role in protecting officers and civilians during the Occupy Portland protests in 2011. They're also a big hit with the community.

"I love them," said Bruce Moyer, watching the Mounted Patrol in Pioneer Courthouse Square. "I've lived downtown for twenty years and I think they're the best thing for the city."

While the future of the Mounted Patrol was uncertain amid potential budget cuts, trainers for now were focused on the future of Murphy's law.

"He really wants to do well," said Mack. "He's learning extremely quickly and he is losing weight."

More: Police chief's budget proposal cuts Mounted Patrol

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