Home / Badge Abuse / Police Horse Dies After Cop Leaves Him Tied in Stall with No Food or Water — Cop Gets Another Horse

Police Horse Dies After Cop Leaves Him Tied in Stall with No Food or Water — Cop Gets Another Horse

For the past several months, The Free Thought Project has been bringing its readers, story after story, of police interactions with animals, usually family pets. All too often, when challenged with a barking dog, untrained police officers will shoot and kill beloved K9s. So, imagine our surprise when we came across the story of a police officer killing his own horse.

Officer Joseph Teeter, of the Denver Police Department, serves in the mounted police division. This past September 26th, Officer Teeter, and his horse named MC Hammer, had been patrolling the downtown Denver area. The day wasn’t unseasonably warm, with the high only in the 70’s. But upon returning to the Denver Police Mounted Patrol Barn, Teeter tied up MC Hammer, took off his saddle, and sat down to do paperwork. Admittedly getting distracted by his required paperwork, Teeter neglected to give MC Hammer any food and water.

Minutes turned into hours, and Teeter left the barn and MC Hammer still tied up without any hydration or nutrients. The horse spent the next 16 hours being tied up without any access to food or water, and it’s uncertain whether or not the 10-year-old horse was even able to lay down to rest.

When employees arrived at the barn on the morning of the 27th, they found MC Hammer still tied up to the same eye-hook Teeter had tied him to. Water and food was immediately given to the horse, who appeared fine at first, even perking up, but soon took a turn for the worse. The DPD reportedly contacted a local veterinarian who determined MC Hammer was suffering from colic and would not recover. The decision was then made to put down the horse. MC Hammer was subsequently euthanized.

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It’s important for readers to understand the mindset of the police in general. When it comes to animals, they’re considered, quite literally, police officers themselves. Just this past October, the LA Times reported a man was shot and killed after he attacked a police dog with pruning shears. But as TFTP also reported, several incidents of animal cruelty have been reported, even some wherein police officers were abusing and mistreating their own K9 partners.

Just as in officer-involved shootings, mistreatment, instances of badge abuse, and other scandals involving police, Officer Teeter, who’s been an officer for over 10 years, will not be inconvenienced by the neglect and mistreatment of his own horse partner. He won’t have to pay a fine, and he won’t have to spend one day in jail. That’s because much to the surprise of many, following an internal investigation, Officer Teeter was only docked a day’s pay for his part in the neglect which led to MC Hammer’s demise. And the day’s pay wasn’t even a real day, but a vacation day, nonetheless.

The internal investigation reportedly resulted in a disciplinary letter being written to Teeter. Part of the letter reads Teeter, “became distracted doing paperwork and forgot he had left the horse tied in the stall.” But Teeter was given the benefit of the doubt with the following statement which reads, “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.”

According to KUSA’s 9News, “Teeter was disciplined for a violation of the Denver Police Department’s Written Command: Rough or Careless Handling of City and Department Property. That particular violation can carry various disciplinary actions, including up to three “fined” days. Teeter received one “fined” day, or eight hours of docked vacation time for 2017. The letter states Teeter’s service record and commendations as mitigating factors, but stated the officer’s forgetfulness put the horse in ‘cruel’ conditions. It also said Teeter demonstrated real remorse for his actions.”

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The neglect, the investigation, the report and the punishment has sparked outrage with horse lovers everywhere, who believe Teeter should be charged with animal cruelty, not simply docked a vacation day and given a new horse. MC Hammer had only been with the DPD for less than a year, having been donated to the police department. It’s unclear who donated the horse to the police department, but if that owner can be located and verified, TFTP would love to know what the previous owner thinks about his horse’s fate.

According to news reports, Teeter is heartbroken by his actions and is suffering from true “remorse.” But whether or not the abuse was intentional, the fact remains a police horse died at the hands of the police handler who was supposed to be caring for his needs. Instead of being reassigned to another section of the DPD, Officer Teeter has been given back his job with the DPD Mounted division, a move which has left us scratching our heads in disbelief.

What do you feel should have been Officer Teeter’s punishment? Should he have been charged with animal neglect or animal cruelty? Should he have been given back his job as a mounted police officer? Post your comments below.

  • David Daisy May Boldock

    His next job should he still work with equines, is that he should carry the horse.

    • Stephanie Pierce

      I agree with you, unfortunately, they’ve already given him another poor horse.

      • David Daisy May Boldock

        Sad to hear that lass. Let’s hope he shows this one more care. 🙂

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    Horses are sturdy animals – sixteen hours without food or water isn’t good for them, but it shouldn’t be fatal, unless something else has already weakened them. Perhaps someone is lying about how long the animal was abandoned.

    • William Cuppoletti

      Would someone lie to hide the facts,I truly have never heard of poLICE ever doing that.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        Like lizard shit on a warm, flat rock.

        • William Cuppoletti

          Thank you for the mental picture!

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    • Nishi

      Or maybe the horse just coliced and it’s a coincidence. It a disturbing story anyway. I’ve never once forgotten about one of my horses. That would be the stuff of nightmares. In the horse world, that’s *verboten*. The ‘working horse’ world is a little different. The horse isn’t the star attraction and other responsibilities call for one’s attention to be directed elsewhere. Maybe the mounted police should hire a professional groom.

    • junktex

      Exactly.Something else was wrong with that poor creature.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        Or somebody lied and it was actually two or three days rather than sixteen hours.

        • junktex

          True.Embarassed to say that as cynical as I am,I did not think of that.

  • anarchyst

    Not only are police incompetent when it comes to animals, MOST cops are not proficient with firearms or cars either. When the norm for police hiring is to drag the bottom of the barrel for “bottom feeders” and openly discourage truly good candidates for “law enforcement” positions who DO have common sense and are able to think for themselves, this is the result…
    The same situation existed within the Catholic church, in which pedophiles were appointed to priesthood positions, and when their lecherous behavior and activities were discovered, they were moved to other unsuspecting parishes…not unlike what occurs with “bad” cops who are “found out”
    The “thin blue line”, must not only be reformed, but smashed into smithereens…THAT is the only way to truly “fix” the system…

    • Stephanie Pierce

      Absolutely anarchist, I’m with you!!

    • CC Crimcops

      Actually the only group that kills as many animals as cops do are serial killers.

  • Kountry Bumpkin

    Many things can cause a horse to colic but just reading between the lines it sounds like they fed this horse hay and/or grain before the beginning of the shift, now fiber is very important and required for an equines health however if they are not given access to plenty of water to move that fiber through their digestive system then it really doesn’t take long for a horse to become impacted which is one of the most common and easiest to prevent reasons for colic.

  • doucyet

    Something else is in play here, I’ve been around horses all of my life from age 10. Not excusing the neglect here (if there was) but horses can go much longer than 16 hours without food and water with no ill effects.

  • Cheryl

    His first duty was to take care of his ride. He’s another loser cop who should not be on the force. How hard of a day did the horse have before he was abandoned tied to a post?

    • Stephanie Pierce

      God help these poor animals forced into slavery with these assholes. We need an ALM(animal lives matter) instead of the BLM.

  • Ibcamn

    wait,if we slapped that horse on the ass,we would have gotten years in prison[for assaulting a cop]and thousands in fines……but a cop murders a fellow cop[horse]and he just walks…people remember this one,because animals are not cops,dogs and horses alike,the next time you hear about someone gettying prison time foir kicking a dog cop,im guessing the system needs a call…cops are cock suckers,they fuck their dogs and im guessing their horses to,them kill the horse like the dogs they do…and the cop just walkes,no charges no nothing…just shows you what high reguard they have for a animal[s]…..

  • Stephanie Pierce

    Like usual the cops are most likely lying to cover up for their own. This cop deserves to be fired! since that won’t happen he should be tied to the stall with no food or water for at least 2 days after walking the 16th street mall for a 10 hour shift. Eye for an eye. Why can’t these assholes ever get the justice they deserve? We need an animal “Equalizer”.

  • CC Crimcops

    About four years or so COPS aired a Las Vegas episode where LVMPD police arrest a guy for patting a department equine on the rump.

  • Wow, instead of another horse, you’d think they’d give this guy a Segway.