WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The Wichita Police Department needs to retire two of its eight horses on the mounted unit, but the department doesn't have the funds to replace them.
The Wichita Police Foundation, along with others in the community, are raising money to purchase a Clydesdale horse. The cost of the animal and the equipment for it is $20,000.
Becca Boldra, the executive director of the foundation, says the Mounted Unit is a tremendous resource for our community.
"Just really getting positive experiences for kids of young ages as well as adults," Boldra said. "Even down here in Old Town, they're building positive place community relationships because people are wanting to come up and pet the horses and find out their names and all that. it opens up doors for conversation that may not necessarily happen otherwise."
The foundation started the "Horses for Heroes Campaign" in order to purchase the animal. They teamed up with the Old Town Association because that's primarily where the mounted unit serves. Marketplace Properties agreed to match any donations from Old Town up to $5,000.
"We want to make sure the department has high-quality horses that are a good age, strong, healthy. Through the 'Horses for Heroes Campaign,' WPF wants to purchase this 1,800 pound Clydesdale along with the tack needed for the horse," Boldra said.
According to Boldra, the Clydesdale is a perfect fit for the mounted unit because of the horse's temperament.
"They are more social animals," explained Boldra. On the foundation's website, WPF says the taller breed will help officers see over crowds easier while on patrol.
Boldra says they're nearing their $20,000 goal to get the horse and they want to make it happen before the end of the month.
If you're interested in donating, visit the Wichita Police Foundation website.