The towering figure of police horse Jake has cut a striking figure on the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana, for the last 11 years.
Now, the 17.1-hand Percheron-Appaloosa cross is on sick leave, recovering from cancer surgery that was funded by his many fans.
Jake, 13, a valued member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Mounted Patrol, has been battling skin cancer.
He has been undergoing treatment for some time, but the invasive cancer was affecting a sensitive part of his anatomy and more aggressive surgical intervention was deemed necessary.
Unfortunately, the cost of Jake’s surgery could not be covered under the basic veterinary care guidelines within the city budget, which prompted a fundraising drive.
The IMPD Horse Patrol Association, a private group which supports the mounted unit, launched an online campaign which quickly gathered $US4710 – more than enough to cover Jake’s surgery at
Jake underwent his surgery at Purdue University’s Large Animal Hospital last weekend, and there is every hope he will recover to resume his patrol work with officer Jason Palumbo.
Dr Jan Hawkins carried out the surgery, during which a large tissue ball was located and removed, which the surgeon felt was not cancer but fat.
Jake bled a little more than expected when he stood up, but that was duly controlled and he was soon resting nicely in his stall.
The mounted patrol, in an update the day after surgery, reported that Jake needed to undergo surgery again after managing to do some damage around the site of the surgery, which needed repair.
Jake is now well on the road to recovery, but will be resting up for a while yet before locals see him patrolling the streets of Indianapolis again.
Any excess funds raised in the campaign will go toward replacing Fred, a senior horse the patrol lost in November.