A police horse in Denver, Colorado, died after an officer left him tied up in his stall for over 16 hours without food or water. The horse, MC Hammer, developed colic and was euthanized — meanwhile the officer, who “became distracted doing paperwork and forgot he had left the horse tied in the stall,” was only docked one day of vacation for his negligence.
According to a disciplinary letter obtained by The Denver Post, the incident took place in September after Officer Joseph Teeter finished his mounted patrol shift and unloaded his animal partner into a stall at Denver Police Mounted Patrol Barn. Teeter reportedly tied the horse to an eyebolt with a short rope that left him with only about two to three feet of space and took off his saddle.
The horse was discovered the next morning still tied up in the stall. Despite being provided with food and water, he continued showing signs of pain and was taken to the Littleton Equine Medical Center. After monitoring him overnight, the veterinarians concluded he would not recover.
While the incident raises concerns about overall animal care in the police force, the letter said, “The medical experts who evaluated the horse were unable to conclude that the horse’s condition was caused by being left in the stall without food or water for approximately 16 hours.”
It also stated that Teeter, who got a slap on the wrist for forgetting about his patrol horse, felt remorseful over MC Hammer’s demise.
“Though not intentional on his part, Officer Teeter’s forgetfulness exposed a live animal to cruel and extreme conditions,” the letter continued.
Apparently, Teeter took full responsibility of his conduct.
“The officer feels horrible about this situation,” said Denver police representative Christine Downs. “It was an accident. We love our animal partners.”
MC Hammer was 10 years old.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters