Oh, those wild and crazy and whimsical folks at the Madison Police Department: They're headlining their guide to Saturday night's Halloween Fenced-In Area on State Street "Please Don't Pet the Horsies."
Better yet would be to not bring the horsies and leave them in their stable. The police horses have never seemed very comfortable at the Halloween festivities, and the setting seems even less horse-friendly this year, what with all the gates penning the crowds in or out, as the case may be. Kristian Knutson at the Isthmus Daily Page notes there were problems with revelers and horses last year.
One problem in 2005 was the behavior of mostly intoxicated revelers towards police horses. Hanson stresses that partiers should keep their hands off the animals. "If a person wants to talk to the mounted officer, that's great," he says, "but what we saw was slapping and hitting of the horses, and that's completely inappropriate." Violators can be charged with "abuse to a police animal," Hanson says.If I were a horse, I wouldn't want to be there.
Click on the graphic to enlarge to semi-readable size, or download a PDF of the flyer here, along with other materials at the city's official Halloween website.