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Carriage Horse With Colic Survives Collapse, May Have to Work Again

Carriage Horse With Colic Survives Collapse, May Have to Work Again

The collapse of a 13-year-old carriage horse named Jerry in Salt Lake City, Utah, over the weekend has renewed the debate surrounding this practice.

Now some are questioning whether this business should be allowed to continue, while the Humane Society of Utah and other individuals are calling for an end to the industry in the city.

The incident happened on Saturday while Jerry was hauling patrons. He reportedly showed no signs of illness before suddenly kicking his stomach at which point Annette Overson, co-owner of the business Carriages for Hire, stopped to check on him and he went down.

Jerry’s problem was that he was suffering from colic. While that can happen even under the best of care, the bigger issue is that he was down, out in the middle of a city where he shouldn’t have been in the first place and had to be moved with a forklift.

Some believe the temperature, which reached a high of 97 degrees that day added to his discomfort. Under the city’s ordinances, horses are allowed to pull carriages until the heat index reaches 150 degrees, which would require a temperature of 107 degrees with 57 percent humidity, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Unfortunately, Jerry’s case is just one of many that have brought attention to the problems inherent with having horses in cities. There have been numerous incidents around the country involving accidents with carriage horses who have caused injuries and fatalities to themselves and people that have led to citizens and animal advocacy organizations fighting to get these animals off of city streets.

While many supporters continue to argue that having carriage horses adds to a city’s ambiance, there’s nothing charming about an accident or a collapsed horse suffering in the street.

The Humane Society of Utah, like others who oppose this industry, believes that the practice continues to unnecessarily put both horses and people at risk and that these horses shouldn’t be forced to work in the heat on hot asphalt, or in frigid winter temperatures, or have to endure the noises, traffic, exhaust fumes and chaos that come with city life.

Some have had luck with bans and have successfully gotten them enacted in cities in Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Jersey and South Carolina. The issue is also currently being raised in other places, including Old Sacramento and Georgia and has become a hot topic in New York City.

As for Jerry, he survived what could have been a potentially fatal condition and is recovering, but animal advocates hope he won’t be put back to work and continue to question the city’s lax regulations and voice their opposition.

The Salt Lake County Animal Services reportedly found no violations of city ordinances or policies after investigating this incident, but city officials have at least been convinced that a review of the city code is needed, although they aren’t committing to changing anything or to enacting a ban just yet.


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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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4:22PM PST on Feb 27, 2014

Poor horse!

11:22AM PST on Nov 10, 2013

I agree with Terri B. There are millions, billions of planets out there around other stars that have life.. but no people around..and thankfully they will never experience humans since they are light years away and therefore safe from humans raping and destroying them. They are Utopias. The human race in general is not even qualified to be called life.. more like some kind of planet destroying cancer.

9:23PM PDT on Oct 14, 2013

I was very saddened to hear of Jerry's passing. He should have had a carefree, happy life, with love and care. Not the terrible treatment he received from his owners, who obviously knew they were wrong, since they wouldn't even tell how he died!! There is nothing romantic about horsedrawn carriage rides, the horses suffer. The entire business(s) should be shut down and the entire industry outlawed. RIP sweet Jerry, you were loved and will be remembered, even by those of us who never had the joy of knowing you in person.
P.S. I hope his owners will receive their Karma soon, and never be able to mistreat an animal again.

7:30AM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

Ce cheval aurait eu besoin de soins et de repos. Il est inconcevable que l'on laisse des situations semblables durées et durées. Honte aux hommes qui permettent une telle exploitation. Repose en paix, mon brave Jerry.

3:02AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

thanks for sharing

7:54PM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

There should not be any horses on city streets......period!

4:49PM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

jerry is dead

10:03AM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

I am praying to God that Jerry is not put back to work, but allowed to retire to a nice home and enjoy the rest of his life. This is an abdominal industry and should be outlawed everywhere.

1:44PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

Can't people visit The city on their own legs? This is cruel and stupid

10:15PM PDT on Aug 29, 2013

I cannot believe that this is STILL happening. I became a budding animal rights advocate many years ago after watching my mother raise a fuss over ponies at a carnival, and again over trail horses tethered all day in the sun, with no water, hay or shade. Sadly, the cruelty continues. These animals are kind and gentle and deserve far better than what they get. Cities dependant on tourist dollars would likely win more by taking a stand against animals as entertainment.

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