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Murphy the horse: Down 200 pounds, Murphy the police horse nabs first perp

Murphy the horse had a fat chance at making the Portland police squad – literally. The overweight horse from Oregon, once just a lazy ranch animal, was sold to a Portland officer, who transformed the nearly two-ton animal into a mean, lean crook-busting machine.

“Murphy, carrying Officer Cassandra Wells, galloped six blocks to catch a break-in suspect last week. He kept the suspect trapped next to a building in the Old Town district until officers could cuff him,” reported The Associated Press via CBS News.

“He did everything I needed him to do,” Wells said. “We were flagged down because someone was trying to break into a building. [The suspect] took off, and so did we. It was the first time Murphy has been involved in an arrest.”

The six-block chase capped an ending to an inspirational horse story – one that seems could easily be made into a feel-good movie. Murphy’s original owner, Randy Snow, was forced to sell him off when Snow's farm fell into financial woes. Searching for a new member to join the Portland Mounted Patrol Unit, on Craigslist of all places, the police came across Murphy, and saw the potential more so than a project.

“Being honest,” Snow said, “We ended up with five horses on the ranch, and old Murphy was always low man on the totem pole.” Now said Murphy was named after “Murphy’s Law” – the classic epigram that states if anything can go wrong, it will.

The AP report picks up the story:

Murphy got overweight because he wasn't being ridden and because the owners couldn't afford hay. So Murphy roamed the property feeding on grass, a diet The Oregonian likened to an all-pizza diet for humans.

The police bureau's horse trainer, Jennifer Mack, saw possibilities, though, and the city bought the gelding for $3,000. Murphy went on a strict diet and an aerobic exercise regimen that included an electric walker, a kind of treadmill that prods a horse to keep walking in a circle.

Murphy now joins seven other patrol horses that proudly strut the streets of Portland.

“He's awesome,” Wells said. “He wants to keep learning. I couldn't have a better partner.”

Yahoo News carried some pics of Murphy in action.

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