08/30/2011 03:55 pm ET | Updated Oct 30, 2011

Chicago Police Horse Dies At North Avenue Beach

A Chicago Police officer is mourning the loss of his horse, which died while patrolling North Avenue Beach Monday.

The retired race horse, which was purchased by the city in 2003, was named Mikey C in honor of Chicago Police Officer Michael Ceriale, who was killed while conducting drug surveillance in 1998, the Chicago Tribune reports.

His human partner Officer Paul Casasanto has worked with the horse for years, and watched as the animal struggled and ultimately collapsed on the beach Monday, according to the Associated Press.

The officer told the AP he tried calming the horse as onlookers approached the animal, wondering what was wrong.

“When you spend eight hours a day, five days a week together…,” Casasanto told the Tribune. “He was like my family. They bring you nothing but joy.”

The horse appeared to have had a seizure, according to the Tribune, but the cause of death has not yet been determined.

Photo via Flickr by tziralis