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CLEVELAND -- He was a horse with no hope - mistreated and malnourished when he was rescued from the slaughter truck.

He was steps away from a trip to a dog food factory when a woman noticed the Tennessee Walker and bought him.

The woman sent a picture of the horse to Beverly Ball of Sandusky, who instantly felt connected. She named him Jakar. She says it means "compelling love," and that's what she gave him for the following year.

She nursed him, trained him and loved him back to health, but it didn't take long for her to realize this horse really wasn't meant for her.

At less than 5 feet, she couldn't lift her foot into the stirrup on the giant horse without the help of a stepladder. That's when she thought to email the Cleveland Mounted Police Unit to see if they had a need for a new recruit.

She instantly received a reply, and the following day Sgt. Mark Medwig took a trip out to Sandusky to check out the horse.

He had the perfect temperament, disposition, fearlessness and gentleness to become a police horse, and in April he started his training. Jakar is the first rescue horse on the unit.

Three months later, he finished probation and is now an official CPD rookie, still learning the ropes but making huge strides.

He's already been to his first Browns game, Public Square and even assisted in a bust. More importantly, he gets along with the seven other horses in the unit.

The Cleveland Mounted Police have a rich history. Formed in 1905, they've participated in presidential inaugurations, funerals, parades, international horse shows and even the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

But their job is truly meant to protect and serve, and they also help fight crime, break up rioting crowds and act as goodwill ambassadors for the city.

In 2004, the unit lost its funding from the city and almost was lost to history until the community began donating to keep the horses on city streets.

Medwig says it costs about $40,000 a year for their basic needs and the Unit is now a 501c3.

On Sept. 14, horse lovers can participate in the Cleveland Mounted Police parade at the muni lot. It's a three-mile ride through the city on horseback. For more information click HERE.

The Cleveland Mounted Police horse stablesare located at 1150 East 38th St. and are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visits are free.

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