A police officer in Houston, Texas, was forced to say goodbye to his horse partner by the side of the road after the horse was hit by a vehicle while on patrol duty.
According to Washington Times, patrol horse Charlotte was on duty with Officer D. Herrejon on December 4 when she was startled by a passing cement truck. After bucking Officer Herrejon off her back, Charlotte ran onto oncoming traffic and was subsequently struck by a vehicle.
The police officer stayed with his partner, lay down on the ground next to her and held her head as she breathed her last.
The heartbreaking moment was captured on camera, and a photo showing Officer Herrejon comforting Charlotte in her final moments has been shared 64,239 times on Facebook so far.
After the accident, Houston Police Department (HPD) said in a statement on its Facebook page that Charlotte had died in the line of duty. The department also said that it was conducting an investigation into the accident.
"This is an ongoing investigation, but the driver of the vehicle is not believed to be at-fault. Her rider, Officer D. Herrejon, was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but is doing well," HPD said.
HPD also said that Charlotte had been serving the force for four years after delivering good results in the Mounted Patrol programmes.
"She passed her evaluation period with flying colours 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," HPD added.