Earlier this month, an 18-year old police horse was laid to rest in the town of Uxbridge. The horse was named Viscount, and he had led a long and successful career before passing away. In death, Viscount was presented with the full set of honors that he deserved and had earned over the years, while many members of Toronto’s police force gathered together to bid him farewell. This story shows that animals who are intelligent and well-trained can make a huge impact on human lives and fulfill vital roles in day-to-day living. This horse was just one of many who work tirelessly each and every day to help the police make the world a safer place.
Viscount was a black Perechon and his funeral was held on January 6 in the Thistledown Pet Memorial funeral home. The ceremony was a suitably noble one, complete with a procession and a speech given by the Chief of Police, Mark Saunders. Saunders spoke with fondness of the fallen horse, reminding those in attendance that the entirety of the police’s mounted unit play vital roles in keeping people safe. He also praised Viscount in particularly for his majestic demeanor and beautiful appearance. For Saunders, and many other offices who worked with Viscount, the horse was a loyal and vital member of the team. Police officers rely on their horses for a variety of tasks each and every day.
As part of the service, various officers who work with the mounted unit carried Viscount’s remains up to a shrine. Other items of significance were placed there too, including a blanket, some carrots, an apple, a saddle and a riding crop. A picture of Viscount was also present, allowing those in attendance to remember how he looked in life. Viscount actually died of colic on the 25th December. His death was a shock to Constable David Moore, who had been partnered with Viscount for the eighteen months prior to the horse’s death. Over this time, Moore developed a close connection with Viscount. Having spent so long riding and working with him, Moore will clearly miss his equine companion.
Other police horses have also been laid to rest at the Thistledown funeral home. Some examples include Brigadier, a horse who died in a traffic collision ten years ago, and Royal Sun who was put out of action by an injury sustained several years ago. The home has its own special area for animals that have served with the police, allowing servicemen and women to reunite with lost companions and pay their respects. One of the founders of the home, Mrs. Nancy Graham, revealed that regular citizens also often visit the service area, bringing gifts of food to honor the fallen animals. Clearly, any animal who gives its life in the service of humans deserves every honor it receives. Viscount is one of many brave horses who bravely work to make people safe and serve justice in countless countries.