College students south of the border at Virginia Tech get an extra layer of protection on campus from Ringo the Patrol Pony. The Virginia Tech Police Department enlisted Ringo, a five-year-old miniature horse, to help with community building and overall campus happiness. Ringo is often photographed on his daily rounds with officers in the department and fans around campus. And yes, he goes inside to visit assisted living centers, adult daycare service centers and child development centers – wearing a manure “diaper” to keep things tidy.

Where did it all start? With Ringo’s owner, Leslie Roberts Gregg, who walked him on campus, bringing smiles to students, faculty, and staff. It got the attention of a Virginia Tech vice-president, which led to a meeting with the campus police. It was a perfect match, according to VTPD’s Facebook page: “Each week this Honorary VTPD Patrol Pony visits Hokies outside their residence halls on campus.”

As for why the VTPD wanted a patrol pony? “Our answer is why not! The smiles, laughs and joy follow Ringo everywhere he goes. He helps us to promote our VTPD programs and services. Over and over again students will say that meeting Ringo is the best part of their day!”