Stop Subjecting Horses to Violent, Raging Crowds

Target: Richard Ross Jr., Police Commissioner, Philadelphia, PA

Goal: Stop the use of mounted police for crowded events.

A deranged fan outside of a Philadelphia Eagles football game reportedly attacked a police horse this past month. 19-year-old Andrew Tornetta allegedly attacked a police horse used by mounted police, punching the horse in the mouth. Tornetta was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and related charges. The previous week, 22-year-old Taylor Hendricks was arrested for similarly allegedly assaulting a police horse outside of a sporting event.

Police departments use mounted patrol units, or cops astride horses, across the nation. While many police departments are always pushing to have the best and newest technology, mounted units are one of the oldest policing tools. Horses are often used in police forces to do things that cars and other vehicles do not allow. Horses can jump curbs, turn into tight alleys, and even chase down suspects who might be fleeing on foot through narrow passages. L.A. County Sheriff’s Sergeant Joe Haertsch has said that although the technology of mounted units might be dated, they are still useful. “Even though it’s, I guess you would say ‘old technology,’ it’s very, very valuable in the 21st century,” he said.

However, despite the benefits that mounted units might allow, when the horses themselves are constantly exposed to dangerous situations without their consent and without any protection against them, the mounted units become a means of animal cruelty. Sign this petition to urge the police commissioner of Philadelphia to stop the use of mounted units at crowded events like sports games.


Dear Police Commissioner Ross,

A fan outside of a recent Eagles football game reportedly assaulted a police horse, punching the animal in the mouth. Although the assailant was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and related charges, there is no legal action that can reverse the harm done to the animal, which undoubtedly includes psychological trauma in addition to the physical injuries the horse sustained.

Although mounted police units have been used throughout the history of urban policing, allowing police to jump curbs, turn into tight alleys, and even chase down suspects who might be fleeing on foot through narrow passages, it is necessary to think of the horses that serve in mounted units as animals first and employees second. The welfare of these animals must be made paramount. These horses should be patrolling parks and other natural spaces, not crowded events like sports games. I urge you to stop the use of mounted police in these situations where the animals are put at unnecessary risk of harm.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ANI

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  2. GEN AGUSTSSON says:


  3. Horses or ANY animal used by the police departments, like police dogs, are sadly, treated as objects of defense. Crowds of boisterous humans, is very scary for horses. Humans can be so cruel.. These animals ARE trained to do a job, but sadly, these animals did not know that the animals’ OWN lives are at risk. Service animals, police horses, or dogs, signed up to work, but no animal signed up for the abuse or torturous death.
    Even police dogs are forced to bite criminals, not knowing the humans blood could be infected.
    Police animals need rights and laws to protect them too!
    You cannot discard them, like trash, if they die….nor can you use them, only to discard them.

  4. Arm the mounted police with instructions to shoot at the first sign of violence. You won’t have to shoot many, more’s the pity.

  5. g. petersen says:

    The police are always so ready to taser people even when it’s often not deserved, so why don’t they use a taser on people like this before they have the chance to injure a horse? Another option is to have crowd control horses wearing face shields – I’ve seen this often on police horses. They should not be subjected to injury when there is a way to protect them. PLUS if they attack the horse before the officer can prevent it, arrest the bastards & charge them with injury to a police officer – which is technically what the horse is.

  6. Abuse of police horses should be treated like abuse of any other police officer, canine and human – the moron should have charges filed! The horse is on the police force…!

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