This new story was originally published on December 9, 2015. We felt that this emotional encounter is a moving story that still brings us to tears today, so we wanted to share it with our audience, old and new. Charlotte, you are still remembered fondly.
A moving photo shows a Houston police officer comforting his police horse partner during her final moments of life. The post has since gone viral, as it shows the powerful bond we share with our animal friends.
The police horse, a six-year-old Tennesee Walker named Charlotte, died on Thursday, Dec. 3 while patrolling Houston with her rider, Officer D. Herrejon.
According to the Houston Police, Charlotte was spooked by something, which caused her to spin around and get hit by a cement truck in the street. The accident is currently being treated as a no-fault incident. Officer Herrejon was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but did not sustain serious injuries.
"You undergo a lot of training as a [mounted police] officer," Keese Smith, a Houston Police Department spokesman, told TODAY.com. "You work with those horses on a daily basis. Those horses undergo a lot of training before they're put on the street, so there would be a bond. Those horses are those officers' partners."
The Houston PD released a statement about Charlotte:
Charlotte came to HPD as an unstarted 2-year old Tennessee Walker from Oklahoma. She thrived in HPD Mounted Patrol's barefoot and natural horsemanship programs. She passed her evaluation period with flying colors and was working the streets of Downtown Houston within a short time of being started under saddle. She loved her job and was always ready to go to work putting bad guys in jail or giving nuzzles to children. She served the citizens of Houston for 4 years.
She will be missed.