Patrol horse euthanized after being tied up for 16 hours; officer loses one vacation day

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DENVER, Colo. –  A Denver police officer on the mounted patrol unit has lost one vacation day as punishment for leaving his horse tied up for 16 hours without food or water.

A disciplinary letter obtained by KDVR states that Joseph Teeter finished his mounted patrol shift and tied his horse, MC Hammer, to an eye hook with a rope. The letter claimed that Teeter “became distracted doing paperwork and forgot he had left the horse tied in the stall.”

About 16 hours later, the horse was found still tied to the stall and it was discovered that it didn’t have access to food or water.

After noticing the horse was in pain, the veterinarians diagnosed the horse with colic. It had to be euthanized.

“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 sixteen hours,” the letter said.

The letter claimed that Teeter took complete responsibility for the “forgetfulness” and showed remorse for the horse’s death.

“I know he was devastated at the time of the incident,” Christine Downs, with the Denver Police Department, told KUSA. “I’m sure he still carries that with him.”