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Update: Jerry the Horse Revealed Dead After Cover-Up

Written by Michelle Kretzer | August 27, 2013

The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. And when Jerry finally collapsed and was so weak that he couldn’t even stand up again on his own, they tied ropes around him, dragged him into a trailer, hauled him back to his barn, and hoisted him inside with a forklift. And that’s only the beginning of this sad, sordid story.

PETA snapped pictures of Jerry’s ordeal and publicly released them. After the ensuing outcry, the carriage company sent out a picture of a standing horse, proclaiming that Jerry was once again standing on his own and on the road to recovery. There was just one problem: It wasn’t Jerry.

PETA called the carriage company out, and once cornered, it admitted that the picture was a fake. The company then changed its story, claiming that Jerry was fully recovered and living “on a farm” in an undisclosed location. Despite repeated requests from the media, the company refused to let anyone see him. PETA was skeptical, so we set up a $1,000 reward for anyone who could give us information about Jerry and his whereabouts.

After public pressure continued to mount, the carriage company finally admitted that Jerry was dead. Given the company’s history of secrecy and deception, PETA is now seeking a thorough investigation and demanding that it release Jerry’s veterinary records and allow a necropsy so that we know when Jerry died and what killed him.

Regardless of why the company tried so hard to deceive the public, poor Jerry’s collapse and death are tragic evidence that horses don’t belong on sweltering, traffic-filled streets. Just like animals forced to perform in the circus and dogs made to race for money, horses used to pull carriages are grist for the mill, a source of income. Disposable. Replaceable.

What You Can Do

Jerry’s death might not be in vain. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and the City Council are now examining whether horse-drawn carriages should be banned in the city. Local residents are also holding a vigil for Jerry this evening. Please take a moment to e-mail the City Council or leave it a message at 801-535-7600, and let the council members know that you support a ban, especially if you live in the city. Please be sure to keep all comments polite and respectful.

Update

Thank you to those who were present for Jerry’s vigil.

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! 

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  • Fabiola Leon says:

    This cruel heartless humans make burst in tears. I’m so angry that some people don’t have respect love consideration for animals. This is so wrong. We all know right from wrong. WE GOT TO SOMETHING about this it’s a shame the world we live in we have to start making this world a better world.

  • Lucie says:

    Absolutely disgusting. Well done PETA for chasing the truth. There are no horse draw carriages in Sydney, horses belong in a paddock not pulling carts for our amusement. Keep up the good work and here’s hoping you can affect real change.

  • carrie hall says:

    I am so glad we have people like peta. I am an animal lover also and i totally agreewith peta for the politicians for shutting this thing down. anyone can see how this animal suffered. animals can feel too. Please do what you can do to help. thankyou

  • Jo says:

    Please support the ban of horse-drawn carriages. The horses all suffer so badly in such a disgusting environment. It is so terrible that Jerry suffered and died and it could have been prevented. Please take action to stop this from ever happening again.

  • Renee Lajoie says:

    Words cannot describe the way i feel. To say im disgusted, sad and furious would be sugar coating it. Please do what in your hearts you know what is right. Sincerely, Renee Lajoue

  • Anne says:

    Horse carriages should be banned across the globe. These animals are NOT our slives and we do not need rides from them. This is not fair and its very inhumane. I am so sorry Jerry, rest in peace.

  • Karma says:

    I am so glad PETA got the truth out. it makes me feel amazed that they would put money on the line to find out what happened to this beautiful animal.

  • Janine Tomasello says:

    Please support a ban on horse-drawn carriages, as this is extremely cruel to animals that have helped humans throughout the years and deserve much better care and humane treatment.

  • firewolf says:

    Stop the deaths of horses pulling people around to benefit the owner. I would never let are make my horses be a slave. My horses enjoy grazing, life, being in the open air with their horse friends. Stop the abuse!!! Shame on the owners. Ban the horses pulling stupid carriages in the extreme heat, breathing acrid air and not having a say. Shut down the carriage owners. We don’t need this is SLC. there are lots of other things to do downtown. Jerry didn’t need to die. Abuse!!! Pure abuse. Save the horses and stop the greed of the owners. Fake tears from a greedy abusive owner. Stop the stupid, useless, needless carriage rides. Stand up for Jerry and all the other poor carriage horses. We miss and love you Jerry.

  • KQK says:

    What an “upstanding????” carriage company. How many other “Jerrys” were there. Shameful, first the treatment of these lovely creatures, then the lying about Jerry’s wellbeing and not only lying but being very deceitful. Hope Jerry is in a better place! Crush the company!

  • Karen Richardson says:

    I was so upset by this that I wrote to the mayor myself this was the reply I received The reply read We were saddened to learn this afternoon (Monday; August 26, 2013) that Jerry the horse died on Friday following his collapse over a week ago in an incident that investigators have attributed to a bout of colic. We are also extremely disappointed that the owners of Carriage for Hire chose not to publicly share this information in a timely manner. Mayor Becker is fully supportive of Councilman Charlie Luke’s call for research on, and potential reevaluation of, current City ordinance governing carriage business licensing (see Councilman Luke’s statement here: https://www.facebook.com/charlieluke/posts/10201255443981145). Following this series of events, the appropriate action for the City is to decide whether or not continuing to license carriage businesses is a good fit for our community. His email address : Mayor@slcgov.com Drop him your comments!!!!!! It does help !!! A few seconds ago · Like · Reply.. Karen Richardson I wrote to the Mayor about this and got a reply!!!!!! The reply read We were saddened to learn this afternoon (Monday; August 26, 2013) that Jerry the horse died on Friday following his collapse over a week ago in an incident that investigators have attributed to a bout of colic. We are also extremely disappointed that the owners of Carriage for Hire chose not to publicly share this information in a timely manner. Mayor Becker is fully supportive of Councilman Charlie Luke’s call for research on, and potential reevaluation of, current City ordinance governing carriage business licensing (see Councilman Luke’s statement here: https://www.facebook.com/charlieluke/posts/10201255443981145). Following this series of events, the appropriate action for the City is to decide whether or not continuing to license carriage businesses is a good fit for our community. His email address : Mayor@slcgov.com Drop him your comments!!!!!! It does help !!! A few seconds ago · Like · Reply.. Karen Richardson I wrote to the Mayor about this and got a reply!!!!!! We were saddened to learn this afternoon (Monday; August 26, 2013) that Jerry the horse died on Friday following his collapse over a week ago in an incident that investigators have attributed to a bout of colic. We are also extremely disappointed that the owners of Carriage for Hire chose not to publicly share this information in a timely manner. Mayor Becker is fully supportive of Councilman Charlie Luke’s call for research on, and potential reevaluation of, current City ordinance governing carriage business licensing (see Councilman Luke’s statement here: https://www.facebook.com/charlieluke/posts/10201255443981145). Following this series of events, the appropriate action for the City is to decide whether or not continuing to license carriage businesses is a good fit for our community. The more we write and complain the more we will get animal cruelty stopped. I know it wont bring back Jerry but at least we can fight for the others

  • Sandy Wheeler says:

    Dear Ralph Becker and the City Council, I am from Utah and have lived in the Salt Lake City area for 12 years. I urge you to Ban Horse-drawn Carriages. I grew up on a farm and have realized that few people in the world really understand animals and that generally people only see them for their use to humans. These animals have the same basic needs as humans. More importantly, their injuries, even minor, are often more fatal than our own, therefore greater care and caution should be taken by their caregivers in the circumstance of an injury in order to recover. Animals have value besides our uses for them. Horses can return love and companionship with proper treatment, one reason for example. I have seen these horse-drawn carriages too often drawn by a horse that looks exhausted, beaten down and overworked, they have definetly have lost their spirit. I urge you to free these horses!! I cannot tolerate another visit to downtown in the event that I happen to see the torture of these beautiful horses! Sincerely, Sandy Wheeler

  • sheri geertman says:

    t is sad that this horse had to die to bring this to the attention of the media and Mayor. Please stop this cruel practice of horses pulling heavy wagons through busy streets hot and exhausted, their noses and mouths sucking in car exhaust fumes. It is just not right in America.

  • Beth F says:

    DONE. Wrote city council, hope it starts an epidemic. This is not OK on any level, time to evolve into respecting LIFE, not $$.

  • Lisa Bass says:

    I fully support a ban on horse-drawn carriages. Salt Lake City should ban this practice and set an example to the rest of the country and world.

  • Maria Ines Reynal says:

    Very very sad. We must respect animals, they depend on us. They feel pain and loneliness, we must help them. I can t belive this is happening today.

  • Maria Ines Reynal says:

    Shame on the people who did this.We must respect animals, they depend on us. They feel pain, and loneliness.

  • Maria Ines Reynal says:

    We must know animals are living beings and we must respect them. They suffer, feel pain and loneliness. I m really very sad about this and hope it will never happen again.

  • Di Pugh says:

    This is disgusting! Perhaps lessons will be learned? If they don’t ban horse drawn carriages now then shame on them. My heart breaks for Jerry and all the horses like him.

  • Sandra Selak says:

    Ban horse-drawn carriages in the city

  • Katerina says:

    First, thank you PETA! I think it is shame that tourist are the main contributors to animal exploitation. There are many different ways to create income for the city and its citizens. This is the reason why politicians are in the position they are in. Please stop any form of animal exploitation.

  • Kathy Beck says:

    Please help put an end to horse drawn carriages. This is such a tragedy and should never happen again. Horses deserve love and respect. They have helped bring this country where it is today and we owe them respect and a good life… Thank you.

  • Diana Davis says:

    This is so sad! Hope the ban on carriage horses happens! It’s cruel for these horses to work like this!

  • Yiap Xin Yi says:

    Please stop this cruel act…. Can’t you see how much pain you have caused to these horses? They have feelings too. Just imagine how it feels to toil the whole day under the hot scorching sun pulling a heavy load of tourists. Even human beings need their rest breaks and slack from work time to time too. So please stop making these horses work like slaves because they aren’t. They are born to be wild and free. Buying them dosn’t mean that you own them for the rest of your life and they deserve to do your bidding…they cry and feel pain too so please free them. :’(

  • cassie edwards says:

    plz plz PLZ ban this kind of animal crulty im in england and i was flooding in tears to read the update of jerry, how in this day and age can we continue to alowe this! somthing has to b done to protect these stunning loving animals and anyone that dont look after them as they shud do not! deserve to have this stunning loving animal well any animal at all to be honest

  • donna decker says:

    Please stop this from happening again. how can anyone in their right mind think this is ok? The carriage company apparently know its not and if it was a natural death of some sort they would not have felt the need to lie. You have the power to stop this and stop people that have mistreated animals from replacing them after they from inhumane treatment and neglect!

  • Margreet Scheeringa says:

    I think this is and was all about money. The company did not take care of Jerry. Poor, poor animal. Horses do not belong in the streets when it is hot and when the traffic is busy. They are animals and no machines!When it is too hot for people is it much too hot for horses and other animals. Jerry had to work too hard and too long. Shame on the company!!

  • Christopher Gutierrez says:

    I love to visit SLC, especially Park City. It’s beauty always takes my breath away. Now my breathe is not being taken away by beauty but by this tragic avoidable death. I agree with the ban of the horse drawn carriages. The best interest is for the owners of the operations, not the horses. Please consider the pain & suffering that these living, sentient beings are feeling & how you have the power to allow it to continue or put a stop to this practice all together. Thank you, Christopher Gutierrez

  • harshal says:

    BAN HORSE CARRIAGES FOR GOOD AND LETS BE BETTER HUMANS BY SHOWING LOVE AND RESPECT FOR THE ANIMALS IN OUR NATURE RATHER THAN USING AND ABUSING THEM FOR OUR OWN GREED.

  • Robynn Kaiser says:

    Horses should not be expected to work/spend time on city/town roads. It is a stressful and unnatural environment for them.

  • Carla Spiller says:

    Ban it. This is cruel and horses don’t deserve to be treated like this just to earn its owners money. Having horses myself, this is very hard to see because I know my horse will do anything for me, but I will not push him to the extent that he dies. If this is not banned, then you clearly don’t care about the welfare of the animals, and will say a lot about you!

  • Pony says:

    please ban horse-pulled carriage in your city. you could have bicycles or roller blades around. NOT HORSES.

  • sarah van den broek says:

    Appalling, disgusting treatment of a wonderful animal – what is going on in the US – why are these so called carriage companies not monitored more carefully?

  • Philip Beuckels says:

    Stop this comedy and give animals what they deserve. A better life and a respectful treatment. People who treat animals bad are vicious and mean.

  • Gloria Lozano says:

    Please ban horse drawn carriages. Please help fight against cruelty to animals who can’t speak or stand up for themselves. Thank you!

  • Frank says:

    This is shameful and should never have happened. Jerry is one of God’s creatures and should have been treated with better care and respect. All animals used for monetary purposes are basically living a life sentence in hard labor. I ask that you please show some leadership and compassion by ensuring that this never happens again. Lone live Jerry’s memory, may he R.I.P.

  • lula says:

    let animals be animals I am so tired of seeing animals abuses hurt neglected and so. Poor Jerry so sad. Thank you Peta we need know and fight

  • Dee Anne Kaddouh says:

    Very sad; made years come to my seeing these pictures of put Jerry. Horses are beautiful creatures; I don’t understand this recent hostility towards these sacred animals. You can’t just discard a living being because you no longer see a need for it (i.e. transportation). What is wrong with people?!?!?

  • Ashley Rodriguez says:

    I fully support the proposed ban on horse-drawn carriages and think it is un-human, inhumane and above all disgusting to do what this carriage company did to an animal. Please pass the ban!

  • Frank Randazzo says:

    Dear City Council, Please consider banning horse-drawn carriages. These horses are being mistreated as shown by the collapse, ordeal, and death of Jerry. Thanks for your attention to this important matter.

  • Jo-Ann McMahan says:

    STOP this awful outdated way of tourism and public transportation!! This company should pay fines!!

  • elyssa martinez says:

    Please ban these evil companies. No more animal abuse please!!!

  • Kim b says:

    Mistreatment and abuse of animals…. Isn’t that one of the warning signs of serial killers?

  • Kathy Hardin says:

    Please ban this inhumane treatment of horses on your city streets in Salt Lake City. The poor horses do not have a choice but the humans do!

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