The Boulder City Police Department Mounted Patrol has recently added an adopted wild mustang to the unit. Her full name is Pegasus, but she’s called Peggy or Peg by everyone. We had the opportunity to speak with the unit’s leader, Officer Scott Pastore, about the process of acquiring Peggy and how she will be trained to become another valuable partner to the Boulder City Police Department.
Peggy, a 5-year-old, is originally from the Devils Garden wild mustang group in Northern California. These horses are rescued because there are declining food sources to sustain their populations, She was rescued and taken to the Sacramento Correctional Program, an inmate rehabilitation facility, in Elk Grove, CA to begin the process of domestication. Once that process was complete, she was moved to Las Vegas to undergo more training with former LVMPD Mounted Patrol Officer Brian Smith of Funny Farms Mustang Facility, where she has spent the last five months.
The reins have now been handed over to Officer Pastore to complete her training, which will probably be completed around the first of the year. Peggy still has a lot of things to learn as a newly domesticated animal in police work, but she’s taken to the challenges well. She’s becoming acquainted with the other equine members of her team, Odie, Buck, Apollo and Lobo. Horses, much like other animals – including people – need time to acclimate to one another. Peggy, the lone female in the unit, has been asserting her girl power with the other horses and let them know she wont be pushed around!
Since she’s been with Officer Pastore, she’s been working on wearing boots. Anyone who has tried to get their dog to wear shoes knows what that process is like! She is becoming accustomed to them, which is very significant considering just a few months ago, she wasn’t even wearing horseshoes. She is ridden at least five times a week and has already begun learning traffic stops with a variety of different scenarios. Next, she will begin working with crowds and also learning how to become desensitized to surprises, like unexpected noises or people. So while we wont see her at Wurst Festival or Art in the Park this year, she’s working hard to becoming part of the unit.
Eventually, as the other horses retire from service, Officer Pastore would like to see all of the horses replaced by adopted mustangs. The procedure for adopting a mustang through the Bureau of Land Management is not an easy process. Those who wish to join the waiting list must provide detailed plans about the facilities where the horse will be cared for, the other horses currently owned, how the horses will be supported financially, etc. Once you’ve been approved, the BLM still monitors the situation for up to one year to make sure the mustang is being well-cared for before a final adoption certification is given.
A reminder about the Boulder City Mounted Patrol Unit: it is entirely funded by volunteers and donations! As we told you back in April:
There are no costs expended in the regular BCPD budget. The adoption fee of $600 for Pegasus was paid for by the Friends of the Boulder City Police. The cost of training for Pegasus, $2500, was paid for by the Friends of the Las Vegas Metro Mounted Unit. Officer Pastore stated, “Horses are housed at my barn, and all utility expenses are incurred by me. Volunteers or officers pay for boarding, feeding, horseshoeing, vet care, tack, training aids or other equipment. The trailer for transporting the horses was also donated. Officers are paid the same whether they drive a car or ride a horse. There is no incentive pay like other specialized units.”
If you are interested in donating to the program, a third-party oversees the financial portion of the program. You can contact the Friends of the Boulder City Mounted Patrol HERE. Some of the biggest civilian supporters of the program include Dawn Lee of the Dawn Lee Farmer’s Insurance Agency here in town, located at 1402C Boulder City Parkway, and Retired Deputy Chief John Chase, who is the director of the non-profit organization. He and his wife, Elizabeth, own Amerisent Insurance at 1000 Nevada Way, Suite #108.
Here are a few more details about the horses currently in the unit:
- Pegasus, the newest mount, a wild mustang
- Odie, who has his own Instagram account, a Missouri Fox Trotter
- Apollo, a Dutch Warmblood
- Buck, a Quarter Horse
- Lobo, a Thoroughbread former race horse
Additionally, back in April, we explained why the Mounted Patrol is such a valuable asset to our community:
Mounted units offer officers many advantages in surveilling areas, as they sit at least eight feet above the ground to observe areas. Officer Pastore says, “If a child is lost, officers can see across the crowd to identify the parents. If an event goer is injured, mounted officers can create a path for arriving medical personnel. The Mounted Patrol is ideal for traffic and crowd control. At a crowded event, the mounted horse has a faster response time than emergency vehicles.”
Our mounted patrol officers have also be found working events such as:
- New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip
- The Martin Luther King Jr Parade
- Las Vegas Raiders Football Games
- Golden Knights Hockey Games
- Various parades, memorials and funeral processions
The Mounted Patrol is also a community education unit designed to complement the community policing model adopted by Boulder City Police Department. So the next time you see them out on patrol, be sure to thank the officers for the extra training and work they do with these beautiful animals to help keep Boulder City safer!