Farewell to our police horse, Vegas

The UW–Madison police department gathered on Wednesday for a final goodbye to long-time police horse Vegas, who was euthanized.

Vegas has been suffering from Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Disease, an incurable ailment that affects the horse’s ability to use his hind legs, causing a lot of pain.

Assistant Chief Kari Sasso worked with Vegas for the past 12 years, often providing crowd control at large public events on campus.

A teary-eyed UW Police Department Assistant Chief Kari Sasso stands with her police horse, Vegas, not long before the ailing horse was euthanized. Last summer, Vegas was diagnosed with Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Disease, which is incurable.

UWPD members express their condolences to Sasso, at right, and bid farewell to Vegas. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Nearly 40 UWPD members shared their condolences. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Led by an honor guard, Sasso makes an emotional escort of her police horse, Vegas, before the euthanization at UW Veterinary Care. Photo by: Jeff Miller

The number of people expressing condolences showed how many people Vegas has touched. The UW Mounted Patrol, established in 1989, often works in conjunction with mounted officers from other police departments.

Casey, a narcotics police dog for UWPD, and the handler, Sgt. Cherise Cardine, visit Sasso, and her horse, Vegas. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Sasso, at right, receives a hug from Sgt. Cherise Cardine before Sasso's police horse, Vegas, was euthanized.

Sasso looks on as fourth-year School of Veterinary Medicine students Lynn Roberts, center, and Gina Kim, conduct a physical exam on the police horse, Vegas, before sedation for the euthanization at UW Veterinary Care. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Sasso shares a moment with Vegas, her police horse of 12 years, before the euthanization. Vegas had been suffering from Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Disease, an incurable ailment that affected Vegas's ability to use his hind legs, causing lots of pain. Sasso and Vegas worked together for the past 12 years, often providing crowd control at large public events on campus. Photo by: Jeff Miller

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