City officials eliminated the Police Department’s equestrian division and reduced the number of canine units in December, but some of the animals are taking longer to relocate than others.
Seven of the nine horses are still at the department’s Balboa Park stable and being cared for by a sergeant and stable attendant, said Assistant Chief Bob Kanaski. The department wants to schedule an auction for the horses in the next two weeks, but it’s still working on the details with city finance officials.
The Police Department’s two other horses have already left. One went back to its donor, who requested the horse if the division ever dissolved. The other was adopted by a group that places older horses in a pasture to live out the rest of their lives.
The canine units, unlike police horses, cannot be adopted by everyday civilians. So far, five dogs have left the department to work for other police agencies, including the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Three have left near their normal time of retirement and now live with their trainers. The other dogs may be transferred to other police agencies or returned to vendors.
Kanaski said the department may end up keeping one or two canine units as spares, so the total number of dogs to relocate is between 10 and 12.
The 19 specialized officers who handled the horses and canine units have been moved to patrol duties. Their pay cuts represented part of the $887,000 in cost savings estimated by city budget officials.
— KEEGAN KYLE