The Force of the Horse

The Story Behind the Photo: An Officer and His Horse

Source: The Official Website of the Boston Police Department

“As time slips through our fingers like grains of beach sand we are quickly brought around to yet another “Feel Good Sunday” installation.

Today, I would like to share with you a favorite of mine; a picture that speaks a thousand words. Being married to someone, and friends with others, who share their lives though the lens of a camera this particular story makes my eyes leak and tends to push me towards being a tad sappy, today. But that is why we are all here; for the love of our equines be they domestic or wild.

If your eyes begin to blur and a tear runs down your cheek don’t panic if a family member notices your moment of introspection…it’s okay to have a heart, to feel and to love and today’s story shows that quite clearly in a simple black and white photo.

We dedicate today’s story to all of the four-legged public servants that protect our citizens, both here and abroad, from the dangers and evils that attempt to disrupt and destroy this great Union that we call the United States of America. Many times their sacrifices go unnoticed and unrewarded.

This will not happen on my watch!

Keep the faith my friends!” ~ R.T.

“The compassion of people on that day is one of the things I’ll never forget.”

Copyright (c) Curtis Ackerman All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Curtis Ackerman All Rights Reserved

Nearly 25 years ago, Police Officer Frank Pomodoro found himself comforting his partner and police horse, Fritz, who had fallen into a sidewalk construction hole that had been covered over by a steel plate just outside the old District D-4 station which, at the time, was located in the area of Berkeley Street and Warren Ave. Pomodoro was inside the station when someone came running in and told him that his horse had fallen into a hole. When Pomodoro got outside, he immediately feared the worst. A broken leg and he knew that his partner of three years would have to be put down. In fact, according to Pomodoro, the one question he hears more often than any other when people reference the picture of his horse in the hole is whether or not Fritz survived the fall. In response to that question, Pomodoro gratefully offers the following, “He was back to work in three weeks and, luckily, he only suffered a cut to one of his front legs.”

The above photo was taken on October 31, 1989 and Frank remembers the day like it was yesterday. “I remember it was Halloween because I had to call my wife and tell her that I wasn’t gonna be home in time to give out the candy,” said Pomodoro. Reflecting back on that day, Pomodoro says a number of things still stick out and have stayed with him to this day. “The compassion of people on that day is one of the things I’ll never forget. It was really amazing. Perfect strangers and even one guy I had locked up came running over to help Fritz.” Pomodoro says the help provided by perfect strangers was especially evident when the Fire Department arrived on scene and secured a rope around Fritz because there was some concern that the horse might slip or slide deeper into the hole. Pomodoro recalls, “The rope fastened around Fritz stretched across the street and I remember there were somewhere between 15 to 20 people grabbing a hold of the rope to make sure Fritz stayed put. The compassion of perfect strangers was unbelievable.”

However, the challenge of extricating an almost 1500 pound horse from a hole would require something a whole lot stronger and more substantial than a rope fastened around the horse’s midsection. “We needed a crane,” said Pomodoro. And, as luck would have it, Shaugnessy & Ahearn, a local rigging company, had a crane job going on just around the corner. Said Pomodoro, “We went up the street and told them what was going on and the crane came down and pulled Fritz out.” Pomodoro continues, “My mother was so grateful, she sent a fruit basket to Mr. Shaugnessy, the owner of the company, thanking him for what they did for Fritz.”

These days, Pomodoro is a detective assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit. He’s got a few more years to go before he can retire and, although he’s certainly seen the best and the worst of people during his almost 30 year career, Pomodoro says nothing compares to the kindness and compassion he witnessed firsthand nearly 25 years ago. “I met a lot of really great people that day and, to this day, I have nothing but gratitude to those who came over to help Fritzie. I’ll never forget them.”

20 replies »

  1. that is a great picture and a great story I was putting on my makeup when I read it and darn now my mascara is running down my cheek – too bad we can’t get compassion from people like that For our wild horses.


  2. Dear RT your right , there is not a dry eye in my house this morning, like geri , mascara is all over my face, the tears are especially warm with this story of the in innocent pure love between horse and partner and or owner, the unity of every horse owner and horse is felt here within this Photo………. I feel this with every horse I meet or even just see a photo of , my passion lies with every Mustang they many years ago won my heart and soul out on the Nevada Desert it was and and always will be the single most life changing event of my life, it is a video in my mind I will never forget !!!!! it plays in my mind everyday !!!!!!!I I returned there for over 35 years never disappointed by the Mustangs !!!!!!!! The useless needless suffering the mustangs have been forced to endure by the BLM is a complete disgrace, to every American and America………………….. And we alltogether must put an end to it !!!!


  3. Love and compassion knows no bounds when people open their hearts to giving and getting love. If only this message could spread throughout humanity so many human and animals lives would be changed for the better. Thank-you for sharing.


  4. Thanks RT…gotta be in the top 5 of FGSs.

    Afraid to ask what the Boston PD did with Fritz long after the rescue and service.

    And the “good people” of the world don’t do enough; the number one killer of morality in the world is people who stand by because they are afraid to lose their jobs, etc or can’t find the time for the long haul against evil. It took people in England against the slave trade over 20 years to get legal abolition. The bigger problem was enforcement after the law was passed….sound familiar?


  5. All these people exhibiting their love for the horses, it was in their control. This is a beautiful testamont to the human compassion for animals and for each other’s bonds to them.

    You know, I’m going to use this moment to inspire each of you to call your representative in Washington and ask them why HR1094 or S541 has not been passed to President Obama to sign. He said he would. Just what is the delay. Fritz and his brethren will flourish in our care and with our love – but if they should pass into the wrong hands, they have no way to tell us and we know for sure, those leading them onto the kill truck will not speak. We have to everyday, for all the horses and mules, zebras, burros we do not know.

    I adore this photo and the man weak with fear for his friend, strengthened by the work and belief of perfect strangers. Perfect in many ways.


  6. What has happened to the human race in the years since that photo was taken?
    Where is the compassion for the ones going to the kill floor every day?
    What about the Wild Ones who are killed being rouned up for greed,dying in feed lots in trucks on the way to slaughter and on the slaughter floor.
    My heart is so full of love for our equines and is being to border on the opposite feeling for the humans that no longer see them as living,breathing,feeling,loving creatures.What is going on today is turning me into an angry,mean spirited person toward humans with no compassion only greed within their hearts.


  7. Like those above, my mascara is running down my face. What a joy to know that Fritz made it through that horrible day. I too will add my voice to those above who ask for help in fighting to prevent ALL animal abuse. In particular, the wretched circumstances carriage horses, most racehorses, and the magnificent wild mustangs are in. They
    need our help. Please do all you can…..many thanks to everyone….


  8. thank-you rt , you always seem to come out with something that brings compassion about every sunday , can’t tell you enough how you are appreciated !! you know had something happen right out here on my street ,took my chihuahua out for the last time and i looked out at the street to the great perynees that lives down the block being chased down the street by a baby kitten , they were half way down the block from me in the 6 lane street and on the other side from me. i couldn’t get to the baby and get it out of traffic ,cars would slow down move and around it but not one stopped to help that and as my legs not working at all last night now on my birthday i’m so sad for humanity but i’m keeping the faith that someday others will see in animals what do , have a good day everyone .


  9. What a wonderful photograph of one partner comforting the other. I’m so glad the story had a good outcome. Thank you for posting it.


  10. These are beautiful horses who apparently like their “job” and they provide a great connection to horses for people who might not ever get a chance to be near such a magnificent creature.


  11. All these years past since this happen but yes I do remember the story. I prayed this beautiful horse would be fine and he was. I am so glad that you shared this story again. Right now there is so many bad things being said and done by some officers it is so good to remember that there are officers that love and adore there 4 legged friends that help them everyday in their job. This is a beautiful and heartwarming story, thank you for sharing this.


  12. Kudos also to the Cleveland Mounted Police and Sargent Medwid, who will always invite you to come and see the Horses in his Unit he loves and makes sure all Horses receive the care and Honor they deserve !!!!! I have been there several times and always welcomed by the horses and Sargent Medwid !!!!!


    Cleveland Police
    Law Enforcement · 19,384 Likes · November 8, 2013 · Edited ·

    Rescue Horse Now a Member of the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit

    Meet Jakar, the newest member of the Cleveland Division of Police Mounted Unit. Jakar has quite a story to tell, but since he can’t type we will tell it for him.

    In the summer of 2012, a young woman attending a horse auction saw a Tennessee Walking Horse auctioned off and boarding a truck meant to take him and other horses across the border to slaughter. She felt compelled to purchase him and save him from that sad fate. The horse was then adopted by Beverly Ball who said “I knew he had something special and that underneath this big guy’s broken spirit was a gem waiting to be revealed.” Beverly named her horse Jakar which she tells us means “compelling love.” At the time, Jakar was malnourished and it took lots of time and love to nurse him back to health.

    Jakar’s curious and friendly personality convinced Beverly that he would be a good mounted police horse. She decided to donate him to the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit and contacted Sergeant Mark Medwid. Sergeant Medwid visited Jakar at Beverly’s farm and took him to his new home at the Police Stable in May of 2013.

    Jakar completed his police horse training and has been a solid member of the Mounted Unit ever since. He regularly patrols the neighborhoods throughout the City of Cleveland and can often be found on Public Square. If you are out and about downtown and happen to see Jakar, be sure to stop and say “hi” because he loves people.
    Funding to provide for the care of all of our horses is generously donated by the Friends of the Cleveland Mounted Police. To become a sponsor or to donate to the horses’ care, visit The Cleveland Police Foundation Foundation’s website:


  13. Such a wonderful story ! I also watched the video from grandmagregg about the mounted unit. I’m thinking…. if stories and videos such as Fritz and his human partner and the video of the mounted police on the drafts plus others that are really touching and tugging were sent to Obama, maybe he would get an idea of the true nature of horses and the bond of horses and people, maybe he’d take a moment and really think and feel with his heart the plight of equine slaughter and wild horse roundups.


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.