A miniature therapy horse named Valor is joining the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to “heal hearts and bring smiles to hurting people” who have suffered traumatic incidents, officials said.
Valor has been specially trained as a law enforcement therapy horse and will join reading programs and appear in community outreach events in the Malibu area, a Jan. 23 news release from the Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff's Station said.
Valor and her handler, Victoria Nodiff-Netanel, are part of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, a team of pint-sized horses that visit hospitals and hospice programs, comforting more than 35,000 adults and children each year who have experienced traumatic events. The horses were sent to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, after the 2012 mass shooting.
"Valor will serve as a 'face' of law enforcement and does so while upholding the Sheriff's Department motto of 'A Tradition of Service," according to Heather Fuquay from the department.
Valor lives in Malibu with four other therapy horses. She was named after Port Authority Police Officer Kenneth Tietjen , who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.