Written by Michelle Kretzer
A frantic PETA supporter contacted us after she witnessed an
underweight horse collapse and thrash around on the ground. It was clear to our
caller that this poor animal was in agony and likely suffering from colic.
Law enforcement was contacted immediately, but according to
our caller, when the officers arrived, "they just stood around her, watching
her suffer." A PETA staffer worked on getting a veterinarian out to the
horse, while the caller tried to track down the horse's owner. Within
an hour of the call to PETA, the horse was gently released from her suffering.
At our urging, detectives are now investigating the cause of
the horse's illness
as well as the condition of the other horses on the owner's property.
If you encounter an animal in imminent danger
and local officials won't help, call PETA to receive immediate assistance.
Written by Jennifer OConnor
Update: Another horse collapsed in Hemet, California, after participating in a Christmas parade.
The horse—who is now recovering—got spooked and took off down the street, running over
the driver and striking light poles and parked cars before collapsing.
The following posted 12/5/2011
Another horse pulling a carriage fell to the
street in New York City
this weekend, and a
spokesperson for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York admitted that
it "is quite common" for horses to catch their hooves on uneven
Considering that four
horses have now collapsed—and at least one has died—in New York City in the last six
weeks, it is outrageous for the industry and city officials to continue to downplay
Please click here to ask the New
York City Council to vote "Yes" on Intro
86A, which would replace living, breathing animals with eco-friendly antique cars,
before any more horses collapse on the streets of New York.
After a 5-year hiatus, Congress has restored funding for U.S. inspectors to oversee horse slaughter, opening the door for horses to be killed and butchered in the United States for the first time since 2006.
No one wants to see any horse killed for meat or to turn a fast buck, and PETA has always had concerns about the suspension of US slaughter, since it meant more suffering for these sensitive animals, not less. What we feared would happen did: Rather than have a change of heart and stop killing horses, greedy ranchers who deal in horse flesh simply jammed their “commodities” into tractor trailers and hauled the frightened animals hundreds of miles to Canada and Mexico – a journey most did not have to face before - to terrifying deaths in slaughterhouses there.
As PETA documented years ago, that ride means horses crammed together with strangers who bite and kick, slippery floors that mean foals and pregnant mares fall and are trampled, and horses who, being taller than cows but often shipped in cattle trucks, must ride the whole way with their heads bent to their chests. That export loophole still needs to be slammed shut.
To reduce horses’ suffering, there must be a ban on exports of live horses together with a ban on slaughter in the U.S., or it doesn’t work, never did, never will.
Remember, industries that breed horses for profit—horseracing, rodeo and the carriage trade—are largely to blame for this crisis since they have created the tragic overpopulation of horses.
force breeders to take some responsibility for the horses they use up and then
discard by signing PETA's petition to the Jockey Club calling for the club to establish a retirement
fund for registered thoroughbreds.
Written by PETA
We don't know how
long several horses
on a property in rural Iowa spent mired in their own waste, but when a witness
alerted PETA to their plight, the horses' barn floor was covered with manure up
to 4 feet deep in some places.
PETA's Cruelty Investigations
contacted local animal control officers immediately, and the agency forced the
property owner to improve the horses' situation. It took several visits from
law-enforcement officials, but the continued pressure was enough to convince the
owner to build a spacious new barn. The horses now have a clean, new living
space and plenty of pasture to graze.
If you notice an
animal who is forced to live in filth or who is in trouble in any way, contact police
and/or animal control, and follow up—repeatedly, if necessary—to make sure that
the animal gets help. (You can look up the number now and save it to your cell
phone or post it on your fridge to be prepared for emergencies.) If you do not
get an appropriate response, let us know.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
UPDATE: When Lea Michele found out about the death of yet another horse used for carriage rides in New York City, she immediately sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking him to support the bill that would replace the cruel carriages with eco-friendly retro cars and allow the remaining horses to go to sanctuaries.
The following was originally posted on October 24, 2011:
Yet another horse used to pull carriages in New York City has dropped dead in the street, adding one more body to a count that continues to grow. Glee's Lea Michele recently hosted a PETA video detailing the miserable lives of these horses, who are forced to haul heavy loads in all weather extremes in one of the busiest cities in the world.
Wherever you live, if you see a horse (or any animal) in distress, contact local humane authorities immediately. If you live in New York and see a horse in trouble, contact the ASPCA at 212-876-7700, extension 4450, and PETA at CIDInfo@peta.org right away.
Never take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and please let New York officials know that you support Intro. Bill 86, which would replace horse-drawn carriages with eco-friendly classic cars.
It only takes one look to see that the pony below desperately
needed help, but whenever authorities were called out to check on this
miserable horse, they inexplicably found "no issues" with his
condition and left him to suffer at the hands of his neglectful owners.
The pony was so malnourished that every rib jutted out, and his hoof
was so grossly deformed (possibly from an untreated broken bone) and overgrown
that it had folded under, forcing him to hobble around. The pony's owners left
him to wander the streets and routinely took off for days at a time, leaving
him to fend for himself. He had no food, no water, and nowhere to escape the
Thankfully, when PETA and a wonderful local rescue group
got involved, the owner quickly agreed to surrender the pony. His overgrown
hoof was immediately trimmed, and he was adopted into a loving home within
If you've tried to get help for a neglected or abused animal to no
avail, don't give up. PETA can often help when no one else can—or will. If you
aren't getting anywhere with local authorities, please contact PETA.
You may be the only hope for an animal in an otherwise hopeless situation.
by Lindsay Pollard-Post
PETA investigators have released the following undercover video, showing horses
as they were forced to run so fast that they suffered broken bones, burst
aortas, and other potentially fatal injuries. This video footage will be used
to push thoroughbred auction companies to institute PETA's proposed reforms.
PETA has documented
yet another example of how merciless and mercenary the thoroughbred racing
industry is. Two-year-old horses are forced to perform in reckless speed trials
known as "under tack shows" to impress prospective buyers at
auctions. These young horses, whose fragile bones, tendons, and muscles are not
yet fully developed, are pushed to sprint one-eighth of a mile at breakneck—or,
have documented that forcing these baby horses to run at extreme speeds at
auctions and during training for these events can result in dangerous
bones, and death. Equine veterinarian Dr. Sheila
Lyons, who has been featured on the cover of The Blood-Horse magazine, writes: "Pushing these immature 2-year-old horses for speed
before they have reached physical and mental maturity is recklessly dangerous
and systematically damaging for the animal while also proving to be unreliable
for the prospective buyers as a predictor of future racing ability."
PETA is urging the
four major thoroughbred auction companies, Fasig-Tipton Company, Ocala Breeders'
Sales Company, Keeneland Association, and Barretts Equine Limited, to adopt a
series of reforms, including the following:
Help us put an end
to this unnecessary suffering. Please take a moment to politely urge the four major auction companies
implement PETA's proposed reforms.
by Jennifer O'Connor
These animals must have listened to
Robert F. Kennedy―they didn’t get mad, they got even.
Written by Michelle
In a landmark move for thoroughbreds' safety, the American Graded Stakes Committee announced that it is banning performance-enhancing drugs for 2-year-olds on race days.
Graded stakes races are significant for two reasons: They offer large purses, and their results are used in determining which horses will qualify to run in the Kentucky Derby. Since most owners and trainers want to improve a horse's speed in these top tier races more than any others, banning drugs in the graded stakes is a huge step toward getting drugs out of racing altogether.
The committee's decision comes on the heels of a similar ban by the Breeders' Cup World Championship, which announced three weeks ago that drugs would be prohibited during the multiple-race event in 2013 and for 2-year-olds beginning next year at the 2012 Breeders' Cup.
The drug bans focus on Lasix, a diuretic that is already banned in most countries. Lasix enables trainers and jockeys to force horses to run harder and more often than they should by reducing bleeding in the horses' lungs and nose, and it can also mask the use of painkillers, which can lead to catastrophic breakdowns when horses run while injured.
A bill has been introduced in Congress that would ban race-day performance-enhancing drugs from all thoroughbred races. You can help by urging your congressional representatives to support H.R. 1733, introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and S. 886, introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.).
Written by Michelle Sherrow
The new documentary film Buck chronicles the life of real-life "horse whisperer" Buck Brannaman and his work to help, as he calls them, "horses with people problems." The film follows Brannaman as he tours the country, giving guardians a deeper understanding of their horses and, at the same time, insight into themselves.
Brannaman, whose own upbringing was marred by violent physical abuse, understands horses' fears and anxieties. Heartbreaking archival footage of horses being whipped and "broken" gives way to scenes of Brannaman gaining the respect and trust of a horse using no more than his voice, body language, and a gentle touch.
Although the film challenges the cruel methods used to "break" horses, it stops short of questioning the use of horses and other animals for entertainment. Brannaman obviously cares deeply about horses and is saving many of them from abusive training techniques, which makes one hope that someday soon he will pause to think about the ethics of buying, selling, breeding, using―and inevitably abusing―horses in the first place. Brannaman himself participates in rodeo events that are stressful and potentially dangerous to the animals involved.
To his credit, Brannaman himself admits that even after decades of working with horses, he still has a lot to learn. Perhaps someday he will fully take to heart the words of one of his students, who, when thinking back on the pain that she has inflicted, admits, "[Y]ou don't realize how unjust it is until someone shows you a different path." We all have some growing to do, but Buck has done more than most in his field of endeavor.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.