An elderly NSW woman nearing the end of her life has had her final wish granted by the police mounted unit.
Rita Meredith, who is in hospice care in Newcastle, north of Sydney, is unwell and not expected to return home.
Rita, who was a police officer in the UK in her early 20s, later became the first female mounted police officer in the UK.
Her final wish before she passed was to smell or see a horse one last time.
That wish came true on Tuesday when two horses – Hollywood and Don – from the NSW Police Mounted Unit visited Rita in Newcastle.
Photos of the heartwarming moment were captured and posted to Facebook, including one where a smiling Rita is seen touching one of the horses.
“Hollywood and Don made Rita’s day,” the mounted unit wrote.
“There were plenty of tears shed and beautiful memories made.”
The post was met with thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments from people saying the gesture brought them to tears.
“Not many stories restore my faith in humans, but this story is certainly one. To take the time to grant this courageous woman her wish is exceptional and heart warming. Love the work you all do,” one person wrote in a comment.
“What a heart-warming mark of respect to Rita and her achievements by the NSW Mounted Police Force. Wishing Rita happy memories for the time she has left with us,” another added.
“Absolutely beautiful and sad all at the same time. And as someone who has had horses my whole life I can understand how Rita feels … There is nothing like the smell of a horse,” a third person said.