CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
Camden Police Mounted Unit & Rutgers University Mounted Patrol
SKYLAR served for ten years under the Camden Police Mounted Unit before he was retired as a Rutgers University Mounted Patrol, which is the only student-run mounted unit in the nation. He was a familiar sight all around Camden and in his second career, in and around the Rutgers campus on Penn Street west of North Fifth.
After suffering a leg injury, Skylar was euthanized on November 29, 2007.
We regret to inform everyone that Skylar, one of our Mounted Patrol horses, was euthanized early yesterday, 11/29, due a joint injury and infection. Last Monday, 11/16, Skylar sustained a severe laceration across his hock (the joint midway up the hind leg). He was examined by our veterinarian who started him on a five day course of antibiotics and instructed Animal Care to keep his leg wrapped and clean. Skylar was reexamined early this week and it was determined that the sheath surrounding Skylar's Achilles tendon had become infected. We were advised to take Skylar to Mid Atlantic Equine Clinic for a second opinion and further treatment.
Thursday morning we accompanied Skylar to the clinic along with Clint
Burgher from Animal Care and Dr. Carey Williams, the faculty advisor for
the Mounted Patrol Club. The veterinarian at Mid Atlantic preformed an
ultrasound on Skylar's hock which revealed that his Achilles tendon was
torn ¾ of the way through and that the infection had spread throughout
the joint capsule. She advised us that this was the worst case scenario
of what could have happened and that we had two
Unfortunately, due to the location of the injury the prognosis for a full recovery was poor as there was no guarantee that he would ever recover enough to be pasture sound (pain free while living out in a field). We discussed the options with Dr. Williams and Clint Burgher and we decided that euthanizing him was the most humane thing we could do at that point. This was an extremely difficult decision for us to make and the two of us stayed with Skylar while he passed away.
Skylar was twenty years old and had worked on the Camden City police force before coming to Rutgers. He has been a valuable member of the Community Service Officer program for the past three years and was scheduled to retire this winter. This is a very sad turn of events for all of us and we will all miss him terribly.
Losing Skylar was heartbreaking, but has also left a hole in our program. In addition to asking you to forward this information (if you can) to the Camden Mounted Unit, I would also like to ask if you know of any police horses in need of a semi-retirement.
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