An equine officer retires to a new career in educating law enforcement and the community
Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) will be welcoming an 18-year-old Belgian draft horse named Barney to the farm on Wednesday, August 12. Recently retired from the Baltimore Police Department’s Mounted Police Unit, Barney will be starting a new career as a DEFHR equine ambassador, helping to educate the public and raising awareness of equine abuse and neglect.
Barney will be arriving on Wednesday, August 12, at 11 a.m., at Days End Farm Horse Rescue, 1372 Woodbine Road, Woodbine, MD 21797.
Because of DEFHR’s limited number of equine ambassador spots and the recent retirement of beloved equine ambassador, Tonto, a full circle moment for DEFHR has come about. For an organization whose primary mission is to serve law enforcement, it is a wonderfully unique opportunity to be the facility that will provide “Officer Barney” his new career as an equine educator. “A vital part of Days End Farm’s mission is educating animal protection and law enforcement officials who work with horses,” said Erin Ochoa, DEFHR’s Executive Director. “I’m thrilled to welcome Barney here, and to provide a home to a horse that spent so many years being of service to law enforcers.”
Barney came from an Amish farm before beginning his career with the Baltimore Police Department in 2003 as a 6 year old. Over the past 12 years, he has been at every major event in Baltimore city, helping the Mounted Police Sergeant perform patrol duties and respond to emergency situations.
As recent as the Freddie Gray protests last April in Baltimore, when rioting broke out, Barney and the Sergeant were behind a line of riot police wearing helmets and body armor as they worked to control the protesters. They also worked alongside the National Guard to prevent violence and looting. Barney’s unflappable nature and large stature (he weighs about 2,200 pounds) made him perfect for this work.
On a lighter note, Barney was one of the horses in the unit that made an appearance in an episode of HBO’s series, “The Wire.”
In addition to playing an important law enforcement role, Barney served as a goodwill ambassador for the Police Department. Horses tend to attract people, giving mounted police the opportunity to have a friendly interaction with people admiring or petting their horses. Barney has been at every major event in Baltimore for the past 12 years, helping bridge the gap between police officers and the community.
Barney will fill a similar role at DEFHR. He is well trained, and his friendly, curious disposition makes him ideal for interacting with the public at the farm as well as at off-site events.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue is a 501c3 nonprofit organization currently providing rehabilitation and ongoing care for 78 rescue horses. The organization relies primarily on donations to help these horses. All donations are tax deductible.