Houston Police Department’s Mounted Patrol made a visit to Founders Court Oct. 22, but no guns were drawn — just animals. Visual and dramatic arts (VADA) students had the opportunity to draw officers and their four-legged friends in front of Rice’s iconic Lovett Hall. The students were in Professor Karin Broker’s Life Drawing, Assistant Professor Natasha Bowdoin’s Basic Drawing and Lecturer Paul Hester’s Photography classes.

The two animals and their partners are out every day keeping the streets of Houston safe. Mo is a large three-year-old mule and ridden by HPD Lt. Randy Wallace. Mo is the first mule to be used in the mounted patrol. Smash is a 9-year-old registered Paint Horse who is deaf. Smash is ridden by HPD Sergeant Leslie Wills and sponsored by five Houston-area special-needs girls, the so-called “Smash Girls.” (Photo by Jeff Fitlow)

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.