Trust. The trust on this horse’s face says so much about his relationship with his human as the people around him work to rescue him. Almost 25 years ago, Fritz, a Boston police horse, fell into a sidewalk construction hole that had been covered by a steel plate. Police Officer Frank Pomodoro rushed to his partner’s side to comfort him and help keep him calm. Luckily, instead of the broken leg that Pomodoro feared, Fritz only suffered a cut to one of his front legs and was back to work in three weeks. The photo really captures the partnership between them.
Frank remembers the day — October 31st, 1989 — 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.”
The challenge of extricating an almost 1500 pound horse from a hole ended up requiring a crane. Luckily, 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.”
Although Frank Pomodoro still works for the Boston Police Department as a detective assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit, Fritz retired some time ago. He was adopted by Jim Grimes, Former Chief Deputy Sherif at Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office in Concord, NC and lived out his retirement years with his best mare friend.
Keeping your horse calm in the face of such a dangerous situation is a real feat. So much more can go wrong if your horse panics and thrashes around. Have you had to save your horse from a scary situation?