This is the tearjerking moment a police officer comforted his horse as it lay dying after being hit by a truck.
Officer D Herrejon was thrown from the back of his horse Charlotte while on duty on the streets of Houston, Texas. She was startled by traffic and was hit by a cement truck.
The six-year-old mare had been part of the Houston Mounted Patrol for four years. As she lay on the street, Officer Herrejon, who later required medical attention, refused to leave her side.
He held her head and stroked her as she lay dying.
A vet was called to the scene and the horse was put down because its back legs were severely injured.
The image was posted on Facebook by the Animal Justice League.
It paid tribute to Charlotte and Officer Herrejon and said: “The amazing part of this tragic story is what its rider did while he lay in the street.
“This is a pic of the officer laying with her while she took her last breath.
“We admire the heart and strength of this officer because as you know, when you lose an animal, to be with them during their last breath is a heartbreaking and tough thing to do.
“Thank you to him for loving his partner and friend until the end. Our hearts go out to him and the HPD family. RIP Charlotte.”
Houston Police Department also posted images on Facebook of Charlotte during her time with the force, including one with Officer Herrejon on her back.
It said: “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.
“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.
“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 four years. She will be missed.”