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Collapsed Horse Tied Up, Dragged, and Hoisted on Forklift (Warning: Disturbing Images)

Written by Michelle Kretzer | August 20, 2013

Like all horses who are forced to pull carriages, Jerry has to work in all weather extremes, including the scorching summers and the bitter winters of Salt Lake City. He hauls tourists through the busy, congested downtown streets, inhaling fumes and competing for road space with honking cars. Last weekend, while pulling tourists, he apparently succumbed to the 98-degree heat and collapsed. The heat radiating off the black asphalt on which he was pulling a carriage would have been far, far hotter than 98 degrees.

Jerry was too weak to stand, so his handlers tied ropes around his body and dragged him into a trailer.

They drove him to the stable, but he was still too weak to stand, so his handlers put straps around his limp body and hoisted him into the barn with a forklift.

Jerry’s owners said that he collapsed because he suffers from colic. We are doubtful and suspect heat exhaustion, although colic can be brought on or exacerbated by heat, dehydration, and stress—three factors that essentially define daily life for horses who are forced to pull carriages.

What You Can Do

PETA is once again calling on Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker to prevent tragedies like this one and support efforts to ban horse-drawn carriages on city streets. More regulations on this practice won’t solve the problem. Regulations can’t reshape Salt Lake City’s densely urban environment, and they can’t change the fact that horses are extremely sensitive to loud noises. Contact Mayor Becker and let him know that you oppose forcing horses to pull carriages.

Please support PETA’s ‘Free the Horses’ campaign! We are aiming to raise $40,000 to expose the ugly truth about horse drawn carriages. We have until September 24. All we need is you! 

Commenting is closed.
  • Irina Vaysbeyn says:

    Stop the cruelty!

  • Karen Hammond says:

    Please please stop this terrible trauma for horses. They are not meant to be taking tourists around busy streets in polluted cities. It is cruel and barbaric. The tourists should also not expect a poor animal to pull them around – can’t these people walk or get a tour bus? Stop it now it is very very cruel. I thought America cared about its animals – am I wrong?


    LOVE AND PICE!Love to animals!

  • Agnes Zsiga says:

    Urgent to control this problem.

  • Dennis Bleau says:

    Man is so terribly cruel to those who can not fight back. And Mayors’ have the knowledge of these poor animals suffering in horrendous temperatures and HAVE THE POWER TO ACT ON THIS RIGHT AWAY! Why don’t they? What RED TAPE has to be gone through for a simple and common sense act of STOPPING TORTURE! I just don’t get it.

  • Katy Boreson says:

    Please do not allow horses to continue to pull carriages through the streets of Utah. The sounds from the city terrify them, and the handlers are not caring for them properly in the summer heat.

  • Katy Boreson says:

    Please stop allowing horse drawn carriages. This is terrifying for them- the sounds, the heat…it is all too much.

  • Amara Bleau says:

    This is plain and simple torture for this day and age. Man is so cruel and takes advantage of those that can not fight back.

  • mary says:

    Horses should not be treated this way. Do it with human power, or don`t do it at all.

  • Andrea Hochertseder says:

    Unbelievable what humans can do to living creatures!!!

  • Dana B Shelton says:

    I have just emailed the mayor urging him to halt this ‘practice’ or at least consider and implement a hot-weather protocol for these equines. At the VERY freakin LEAST.

  • Manel D. says:

    This is totally unacceptable in a country called USA to take place such Brutal, inhumane wicked animal abuse. This poor animal did not have a voice. The ruthless scumbags who are only thinking of their dollar figure tortured this helpless animal to the maximum without showing any human kindness or compassion towards this horse. Is this USA Salt Lake city are they all Barbarians? It shows what a lot of Heartless ruthless cowards lives there. The Governing parties need to wake up and PUNISG these morons and save the innocent defemceless animals from the brutalities casing by the subhumans there. Is this USA or a another poverty striken third world country? to have such vicious unethical cruel subhumans?

  • Shawn says:

    They already have last week!

  • Carrie says:

    Ridiculous. For the pleasure of lazy humans you allow an animal to suffer like this. This is just sick making animals suffer this way.

  • Tanya Baker says:

    Dear Mayor Becker, Please ban horse drawn carriages in your city. It is too hot and noisy for the horses. Too cold in the winters too. Thank you.

  • shelah bennett says:

    These pictures testify to the callousness and disregard for Jerry’s welfare. Where are the pictures of his caregivers getting on the ground to comfort him with kind words, cool water, food, and a comfortable stall where he could rest? Banning horse-drawn carriages permanently and immediately is a no-brainer!!

  • Jean Chagnon says:

    It’s horrendous!!!!!

  • Amber says:

    As a resident of Salt Lake my entire life, I do believe it is time to let go of its old ways. As the people of Salt Lake we are speaking against working horses on the busy streets and heat. Please consider a release of these horses, and if you do not, at least consider some real working laws FOR the horses not this silly 117 degree crap. Thank you.

  • Tarryn Zeeman says:

    This is disgusting! Once again humans proven what disappointing animals we are.

  • Virginia says:

    I feel awful !!!! HOW can the people take this carriages if everybody knows that this is a cruel and ruthless exploitation for the horse !!!! that is horrific !!! Please don’t be part of this, we have taxis, buses !!!!!! Please publish these photos on the roads these carriages go !!! make more awareness please !!!

  • Julie Neto says:

    Are you kidding me? Horse drawn carriages are unnecessary and archaic. STOP exploiting animals for financial gain.

  • Julie Neto says:

    Are you kidding me? Use common sense. Horse drawn carriages are archaic and unnecessary. STOP exploiting animals for financial gain.

  • Deborah Paiva says:

    Having horses pull carriages in high heat is inhumane! Please stop this horrific treatment.

  • Teri says:

    I’m Disgusted and Appalled at the Immoral, Inhumane, Cruel, and Deplorable Treatment of Jerry. Jerry’s owners should be Ashamed. Moreover, this should NEVER be Allowed to happen and implore Mayor Becker to implement strong regulation to protect horses like Jerry. Lastly, when planning my next vacation I will NOT choose Salt Lake City or Utah until horses like Jerry are guaranteed proper care and treatment!!!



  • Karen D says:

    Unbelievable how this horse suffers. They need to keep him sheltered from heat and cold, fed well and given something soft to sleep on and to stand on if he has the strength. those straps are cutting into his body and he goes through more as well. I’m sure that this treatment didn’t help his digestive problems. I wonder what ultimately happened to this horse or if he recovered at all.

  • Diana Lutz says:

    Dear Mayor Becker, I am sending you this e mail of my concern for horses. I oppose forcing horses pulling carriages. It is not right. Horses should not be treated in a matter of continuing all day long pulling carriages thru the scorching heat and cold winter. They are not machines. Horses are living creatures that have needs like us humans. Even they need water when they are thirsty form the summer’s heat,and get hunger from pulling carriages and last they need rest from pulling all day long. Please have a heart for these horses. They are not use to noises in the streets they are sensitive. Please consider the horses feelings. Just imagine how u would feel. Put your self in their hoofs. I urge you to stand up and take action with a passion to oppose horses drawn carriages. Thank you so much for your time reading this e mail. Have a wonderful bless day and may God bless you for having a heart for horses. Sincerely, Diana Lutz.

  • Regina Heffington says:

    The same people that help support the “romance” of riding in a horse-drawn carriages and imagine the “days gone by” are also the same folks who romanticize the days of slavery and Gone With the Wind. I ask you, Mayor Becker to find it in your heart to end this outdated practice. Sincerely Regina Heffington

  • Elena Sopoci says:

    Their misery is not a fair trade-off for a little bit of pleasure for the tourists who are pulled around. Cities are NOT horse friendly, by their nature. Please stop the use/abuse of horses in cities!

  • iris s carr says:

    treating the horse like that is a crime against humanity. those people are like nazis

  • Diane Andrulonis says:

    How can a city that promotes the Mormon Tabernacle as a shining tourist attraction allow the suffering of horses to go on and on and stand by and do nothing? As mayor you can stop this inhumane treatment unless you don’t care what happens to any animal, and if that is the reason you are letting this happen, you should be ashamed of yourself. Why don’t you walk the route these horses have to travel in 98 degree heat, pulling a load of children in a wagon – you couldn’t do it and a horse shouldn’t be forced to do it either.

  • Sandra Bazar Kolongowski says:

    I cannot believe that Jerry was treated in this inhumane manner! Jerry spend his life making money for the owners and this is the abuse he gets? Ban the horse-drawn carriages and find another way to amuse tourists.

  • Jenni Hamilton says:

    By God that is the most horrible thing.

  • Tammy Watts says:

    This is barbaric treatment for any living thing. Horses are gentle creatures. If they are going to work then the conditions should be humane and a vet should have been called immediately when this animal collapsed. How can people be so cruel to another living breathing thing who is at their mercy. Mayor Becker you have a responsibility to put a stop to this treatment. How would you like to be treated this way? Stop this Now!!!

  • Nicole says:

    Horse drawn carriages belong in the past. Please ban the carriages pulled by horses!

  • IMADiva says:

    Making the horses pull carriages in this excruciating summer weather we are having this summer is ungodly. We have horse-pulled carriages here in Kansas City where it is so hot we can barely walk between the heat and the humidity and the heat coming up from the sidewalks and the streets and the horses are suffering from it and the lack of water and there is a movement to have the horses changed every couple of hours and have them watered more often as well as other better working conditions.,

  • David Pettinger says:

    98 degrres, pushed to the limits, and the mayor is the one whom should take full responcibility, for knowing, and allowing this We in singapore are saddened by the treatment of an animal, in broad daylight David

  • lee adams says:

    i live in st goerge utah and here the cops dont take action at all but i thought utah passed a law its a felony to hurt animals. this makes me sick utahs not the best state fore caring about animals. what does the bible say about animals read up utah,

  • Vanessa Miner says:

    Dear Mayor Becker – I strongly oppose the city allowing horses to pull carriages. Please banish is cruel practice and hold the owners accountable for the abuse of these animals. By allowing this to continue, you are perpetuating the suffering. Thank you for educating yourself on this matter. I appreciate your consideration.

  • Judi Trox says:

    No animal should ever be treated this way. How dare any person treat a horse this way. How sad and how selfish and greedy. The horse needs to be taken away from these people immediately. And humans are suppose to be the intelligent ones.

  • Gina Anson says:


  • M Harris says:

    This is an utter disgrace, and these people should be strapped up like that poor horse. No animal deserves this treatment. If you don’t know how to handle a situation correcting, LET SOMEONE ELSE! This will be the last thing that poor horse and however many people witnessed this will remember about riding around town and hopefully the will reconsidered riding a carriage. RENT A SCOOTER!

  • leandi says:

    very upsetting….. this is not right!!

  • Bernie says:

    Considering the USA are supposed to be world leaders they are shameful when it comes to animal rights issues. Come on USA, toughen up and make a stand against animal cruelty.

  • s.g. says:

    Come on.. enough is enough.. animals are not supposed to be your money bags. this is inhumane at best, and criminal on its worst end. lets end horse drawn carriages for good. make a living doing something that isn’t harmful to animals .

  • Ted Trentman says:

    I would suggest horse drawn carriages with certain conditions like under 85 degrees. Some of these horses across the country are taken care of and have pride in the service they provide other animals like humans. I do not agree that horses should be worked to death. I think they should have rights just like other workers on this planet. They should have required breaks and should not have to work in certain conditions. This is horrific.

  • Marilyn Glasgow says:

    I am writing to you, Mayor Ralph Becker, in regard to the horses that are forced to pull carriages around the streets of Salt Lake City. I am so appalled and sickened to see how these poor animals are treated by the cruel handlers who are citizens of your city. I am also disgusted with the people who pay to sit their behinds in the carriages for a poor, tired, unhealthy horse to pull around the streets. This is a practice that should have been abolished years ago. I plead with you, if you have any concern at all for these living beings, to enact a ban on this industry. These poor creatures deserve so much better than this abuse. It is simply heartbreaking. Please stand for the horses.

  • Phyllis McCarthy says:

    I sent an e-mail to Mayor Ralph Becker and hope it did some good.

  • nancy eagleson says:

    If in fact jerry suffered from colic, why wasn’t he taken to a vet hospital? Working a horse in hot conditions like these, begs for the revocation of horse ownership.

  • Bruno Charlebois says:

    Mayor Becker I implore you to stop the horse drawn carriages in the city. These horses are suffering all for the sake of money. The owners of these horses have no empathy for these beasts of burden. The pictures are horrific of these wonderful creatures suffering and for what???