A heartbreaking photo posted online speaks of what really matters in life in the end: being there for each other. The picture shows a Houston police officer lying on the ground beside a seriously wounded police horse in her final minutes of life.
A bystander had snapped the image of 6-year-old Charlotte, a gorgeous walnut Tennessee Walker, after she was in a tragic accident involving a cement truck.
We've always said we support ALL animals, and know the relationship with those animals & their person is an incredible…
Her handler, Officer D. Herrejon of the Houston Police Department, was on patrol with her when traffic noise from behind had startled her. Charlotte had turned to one side and stepped into another lane. Her rear legs got clipped by the wheel well of a passing concrete truck, causing serious injury.
The officer in the photo was not Charlotte’s handler but his partner, Officer Ronald Curry. Officer Herrejon was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution but was uninjured.
As Charlotte lay in the street in her last moments of life, Officer Curry lay next to her, embracing and comforting her. She was later put down at the scene. The driver was “not believed to be at fault,” nor were they charged.
Charlotte with Officer D. Herrejon. Picture was taken yesterday, December 2, 2015.
The Houston Police Department shared a statement on their Facebook page following Charlotte’s death:
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the death of Charlotte, an HPD Mounted Patrol horse, who died in the line of duty this morning in a motor vehicle accident.
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.
The touching moment captured on camera has since gone viral via social media. Facebook page Animal Justice League posted the photo, and it’s garnered tens of thousands of likes, shares, and comments. Along with their post, they offered their condolences in a statement:
We’ve always said we support ALL animals, and know the relationship with those animals & their person is an incredible thing.
Yesterday, here in Houston, a police horse backed into the wheel well of a concrete truck and sustained a broken leg. While Officer Herrejon (Charlotte’s partner) was being transported by ambulance to the hospital, another officer, Ronald Curry laid her down and covered her face while she took her last breaths before being euthanized on the scene.
We admire the heart & strength of this officer because as you know, when you lose an animal, to be with them during their last breath is a heartbreaking & tough thing to do. Our hearts go out to both officers & the HPD family. 🐴❤️ RIP Charlotte.