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Teego's owner hopes for reunion


The story of Teego was a bewildering one.

For months, no one seemed able to explain the whereabouts of the beloved horse of Rochelle Thompson, after he spent more than a decade as a member of the New York City Police Department’s Mounted Unit.

Thompson, a member of the Thompson car dealership family, worked tirelessly to locate her horse, which was to be returned to her upon his retirement from the police force.

She started a “Bring Teego Home” petition that generated nearly 1,000 signatures, hoping to attract the attention of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also running for President. She hired Doylesotwn attorney William Goldman Jr. and contacted the press.

On Aug.30, her efforts appeared to have paid off, said Goldman. “We were advised today that Teego is being well-cared for. Rochelle is extremely pleased and looking to be reunited with him.”

In an email after seeking comment for this story, a spokesman for the New York City Law Department, said last week, “We are advised that Teego has been retired from service and is being well-treated on a farm. We are reviewing the matter and have no more information to provide at this time.”

As of press time, it remained unclear just where Teego was and when a reunion would take place.

Teego’s mysterious disappearance began in March when Thompson called to see where he was so she could pay him a visit, as she did during much of his time with the NYPD. “They told me they had retired him (in June 2018) and my heart immediately sank,” she said.

“They never notified me that they retired him. He was never theirs, he was always mine,” explained an emotional Thompson, last month. “He was to come home when he was ready to live a quiet life.” Under terms of a contract signed in 2007, when Teego was four years old, he was to be returned to the Thompsons’ Hilltown farm when he was retired or became unfit for service.

After many phone calls and countless requests to find out which of the city’s three retirement farms were housing Teego, Thompson said she was told little and eventually was passed over to the New York City Law Department.

“We have the utmost respect for the NYPD, and all men and women, as well as the canine, and equine that serve, in whatever capacity. We simply want the NYPD to do the right thing, and honor their agreement to return Teego, now that his time to serve the NYPD is over. His family is anxiously awaiting to be reunited with him,” reads the petition.

Teego, who is named after the family’s black Great Dane, was taken from a New York program that rescues horses from farms where they are attached to urine collection systems. The animal’s urine is used in a hormone replacement drug, said Thompson. The family also later brought home Teego’s mother, Shanta Nisha.

He needed to live a “productive life,” said Thompson, and a trainer suggested he might enjoy serving as a police horse. After spending about four years with the Thompsons and reuniting with his mother, Rochelle decided the NYPD would be a good fit for Teego.

“He had a great partner for several years and we kept in close contact with him,” said Thompson. Later, he had a different partner who rarely communicated with the family, she said.