A Denver Police Horse Died After His Trainer Locked Him In A Stall WIthout Food And Water And Forgeot About Him

A Denver police horse died after his handler left him in his stall and forgot about him, allowing the animal to go without food or water for 16 hours. KCNC-TV (Denver) is reporting. The officer who left him has been punished by being docked one day of vacation time. MC Hammer, as the horse was known, had finished up a busy day on patrol in downtown Denver when his handler, Officer Joseph Teeter, locked him in the department barn. Teeter then got distracted by paperwork, finished his shift, and went home, apparently forgetting that the horse was tied up in a stall without food or water. MC Hammer, a Denver police horse, died in his stall in part from lack of food and water. [Image by Konstantin Tronin/Shutterstock] The next time somebody took notice of MC Hammer, 16 hours had passed, and he’d had no food or water in that period of time. According to The Denver Post, when he was found at about 6:15 a.m. the next morning, the horse appeared to be in distress from lack of food and water, but was otherwise “bright, alert and responsive.” He was given food and water, but by the afternoon he was showing signs of stomach pain. He was taken to the Littleton Equine Medical Center, where he was evaluated and monitored overnight. Veterinarians examined MC Hammer overnight before he died. [Image by Osetrik/Shutterstock] According to a statement from the Denver Police Department (DPD), by the next morning veterinarians determined that MC Hammer had developed colic and would not recover. He was humanely destroyed. According to The Horse magazine, hydration is critical for horses. Although in extreme cases they can go without food for up to four days, most horses will start to get sick after two days. And in higher temperatures, horses’ water needs increase dramatically. It wasn’t particularly hot in Denver the day MC Hammer was put in his stall without food and water; temperatures had only reached the upper 70’s. According to the DPD statement, it’s not certain that Teeter’s actions caused the horse to die. “The medical experts who evaluated the horse were unable to conclude that the horse’s condition was caused by being left tied in the stall without food or water for sixteen hours.” Nevertheless, the officer responsible for MC Hammer’s care was punished by his bosses for leaving the animal without food and water for so long. He was docked a single vacation day. According to DPD spokesperson Christine Downs, it was the first time In Teeter’s career with the Denver Police Department that he’d had any sort of discipline for mistreating an animal. “It is a sad situation. They did an investigation and it was determined that this officer didn’t have anything similar (in his past). He loves the animal. It wasn’t like he was trying to be mean or hurtful to the animal or this horse.” MC Hammer was ten years old, and had been with the Denver Police Department since November 2015. Joseph Teeter is not the first police officer to have an animal die while in his care. In fact, last summer several police dogs died in hot cars while their handlers forgot about them or neglected them. In fact, according to an October 2016 USA Today report, at least a dozen K-9 cops died that summer from being left in hot cars. Mike Johnson, president of the American Police Canine Association, said the trend is inexcusable. “The biggest sin for us is leaving a dog in the car and walking off, and it’s happening more than it should.” Do you believe the Denver police officer who left a horse without food or water for 16 hours deserves more punishment than being docked a vacation day? [Featured Image by Sharon Morris/Shutterstock]