A plan to sell the nine four-legged members of the Detroit Police Department’s disbanded mounted unit at auction, where they almost certainly would have been sold for horsemeat, appears to be dead, says the Detroit Free Press. “We’ve been told the horses will not be sold; that we can farm them out to good homes,” said the department’s Dale Bender. The mounted unit is a casualty of citywide budget cuts. With the decision to dissolve the unit came the decision of what to do with Sachem, Sonny, Sable, Outlaw, Plug, Muskie, Cohise, Strider, and Bay Reo.
If the horses were to be auctioned, their likely destination would be a Canadian slaughterhouse and then European or Japanese meat markets. It’s likely that the city would have gotten no more than $500 per horse at an auction, said one expert. Once Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings learned what their fate would be at an auction, she reconsidered, said Eileen Liska, a lobbyist for the Michigan Humane Society. Liska, police officers, and a group of wealthy animal lovers urged the department to give the horses a future. “These horses served honorably and they deserved an honorable retirement,” said Liska.