A crowd of potential buyers gathered in Balboa Park Thursday to walk around the stalls and pet the long noses and soft fur of a small group of seasoned San Diego police department vets.
Seven police horses, forced into retirement due to budget cuts, are being sold through an online auction.
Pro-horse support groups were also on hand to check out potential buyers and make sure the horses are going to good homes.
“There's always sadness," said Bob Kanaski with the SDPD. "This unit has done great service, not only for the city of San Diego, but for us as well as a police department."
The equestrian patrol went into service in early 1983 becoming a valuable, versatile police asset as well as a civic promotional tool. Balboa Park was the horse patrol's base of operations but the unit often worked the beach areas, for crowd control on holiday weekends -- places like McGonigle Canyon, Penasquitos Canyon and other hard-to-police terrain.
San Diego city leaders expect to save about $250,000 a year by disbanding the unit.
The auction will end Feb 10. You can find out more information through Publicsurplus.com.