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Folsom police horse remembered for gentle disposition

Folsom police horse Dunbar was a favorite with children and families, remembered by Officer Andrew Bates as very interactive and social. Dunbar died July 20 from an accidental injury. He is pictured here with rider, Officer Eric Baade.
Folsom police horse Dunbar was a favorite with children and families, remembered by Officer Andrew Bates as very interactive and social. Dunbar died July 20 from an accidental injury. He is pictured here with rider, Officer Eric Baade. Folsom Police Department

A Folsom police horse loved for his gentle, social nature died Monday from an accidental injury, police said.

Dunbar was a rescue horse, and the department received him three years ago from The Grace Foundation when he was frail from neglect, Officer Andrew Bates said. Dunbar recovered well and had such a social disposition that he became part of the mounted equine team.

“Like all animals, horses are going to react differently in that sort of abusive situation,” Bates said. “He was not only rideable and trainable, he really liked interacting with people. And those are the kind of qualities we typically want to see in a police horse.”

Bates said police found Dunbar dead Monday morning after the horse had an accident with some equipment.

Dunbar was a horse with a success story that resonated with all of the children he frequently visited at schools through the department’s community outreach programs.

“We’ve shared that story about him being a rescue … to show that no matter what you’re going through in life, you can overcome it, and that touches a lot of kids,” Bates said.

Dunbar’s age was estimated to be between 18 and 20; he had no birth records prior to his rescue.

Bates said Dunbar will be remembered for his gentle, interactive and sociable nature and inspiring story.

“Every horse is a little different,” Bates said, “but he had one of the most kind dispositions out of a lot of different horses I’ve met and just really seemed to enjoy people.”

Ashiah Scharaga: 916-321-1083, @AshiahD

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