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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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  • laurie sparrow says:

    Shame on you! Get with the program and ban horse drawn carriages. One horse dead is one too many.

  • Maralyn Jullienne says:

    I wholeheartedly support a ban on horse drawn carriages through city streets and traffic. It is such a stressful situation for those wonderful and innocent creatures called horses. Add to that misery, the sweltering heat. I saw the very same thing in Egypt once on a visit to the Valley of the Kings. Another horse there had collapsed in 40 + C heat, right in front of me, only to be abused and kicked by the owner. When I complained quite vocally about animal cruelty, he laughed! To see this and horses like Jerry overwhelms me with sadness, as I m sure it does for all animal lovers. Yours, Maralyn Jullienne

  • Estelle Nelson says:

    Every city that has these carriage should ban this practice and they should call it Jerry’s law.

  • C.Dib says:

    How can you sleep at night?

  • ingrid manhertz says:

    it’s a disgrace

  • karen duncan says:

    please stop this outdated practice. it is cruelty to the animals, this is only one case but if it doesn’t stop there will be more, please have a heart for the animals, they are the voiceless.

  • Melissa says:

    How would you like to pull a cart all day in traffic ? No one needs these carriages

  • Maria Di says:

    I support the ban on horse drawn carriages. Its cruel and inhumane to have these animals in the streets and at risk, especially in the heat. A ban is necessary

  • Nicky says:

    This is despicable and heartbreaking! This poor animal gave its life and soul to these awful people and they did not show one shred of decency in his last hours. This poor animal suffered incredibly, this is evident just from the photos. How could you drag a sick animal like that, what could this poor animal have been thinking/have gone through at that time? He left this earth in pain and with the belief that humans cause pain and suffering. Even in South Africa where I am from, animals are treated better! I hope horse drawn carriages are banned…I am sorry for those that make a living from this, but they are part of the problem as they knowingly let these animals be treated like this, and die like this every year.

  • Barbara Natelson says:

    I respectfully ask you folks to please stop this inhumane practice of horses pulling tourists around your city. I work with and own horses. Enough is enough.

  • Ron & Marian Glass says:

    Sickening!!!

  • Sarah Brosseau says:

    Hi Mr. Baker, I do not live in Salt Lake city, but I love animals and I think that carriages should be banned in all the cities. I think carriages are cruel and the animals are suffering and are stressed all day. They live in very poor conditions and they deserve better. Please BAN carriages. Thank you. Sarah Brosseau Montreal, Canada

  • federica says:

    STOP ABUSA OF THE HORSR!

  • millrzgirl says:

    Do like they do in Asia…hire people to pull people in carriages. At least they will be doing it because they want to.

  • Nay says:

    Everyone involved is on the list to hell! That’s what they deserve to allow this. It’s disgusting and inhumane. The town should be accounted for, for not placing and rules and/or regulations!

  • valerie says:

    please ban horse drawn carriages from the city so no other horses need suffer the same demise a Jerry

  • Louise says:

    Disgusting treatment for a beautiful animal , they should hang theirs heads in shame .

  • Marian & Ron Glass says:

    DISPICABLE!!!!!!!

  • Louise says:

    Disgusting treatment for a beautiful animal , they should hang theirs heads in shame .

  • Nicole Anulies says:

    I support the ban on horse-drawn carriages.

  • caz hobbs says:

    Making horses pull carriages is cruel, this must stop now, no more horses should suffer like Jerry, may he rest in peace, I totally support the ban.

  • zoomer says:

    This is horrible! USA or any civilized country. Where money rules the human brain and over looks the animal health and welfare for producing the income for the owners. They should respect that animal and treat like gold not Poop. Or stop this tourist attraction on put stiff penalties on theses and regulations. Better Idea use his family members to haul the carriages. Oh! that’s against the law. But not animal cruelty. WTF.

  • Tammy says:

    I support the ban of horses being used for transport.

  • Thomas Q. Sims says:

    I support a full ban on horse-drawn carriages in Salt Lake City.

  • Orlena says:

    Ban carriages. It’s too hot!

  • Dee Kevan says:

    I am absolutely disgusted that this should happen in a highly thought of State in the US – I hope that the Carriage Company concerned are severely punished and banned from keeping horses and their licence revoked -Sadly this case has highlighted the need to STOP using horse drawn carriages.

  • Angela Greenwood says:

    Animals should be respected by humans and not used by them. We should protect animals, they have just as much right to be on this earth as we do. Please end animal abuse! They feel pain and they love just as much as we do!!!! When will the human race realise that?

  • rebecca s says:

    Ridiculous. Let’s tie the company’s workers up and have them pull around carriages all day long in the heat. See how they like it and we can place bets how long they last.

  • fanny says:

    move on we have cars now bikes skates , this all horse drawn carriages are prehistoric so cut the crap and banned this thing right away. thank u

  • Stephany Fisher says:

    Please ban horseradish drawn carriages and prosecute these people for animal endangerment, cruelty, and fraud.

  • Angela Greenwood says:

    Poor dear sweet horse. The human race is disgusting, so cruel beyong imagination to poor defenceless animals. It needs to stop!!! Animals belong in this world, they have as many rights as humans, why would humans think that they have more rights than animals, they don’t!!!! We don’t!!! This world belongs to all living creatures! Animals need our protection, they don’t need us to be cruel to them

  • Gina Foley says:

    Please ban the cruel practice of horse drawn carriage rides. Thank you!

  • Lucia Ehemann says:

    It breaks my heart and I wish some day justice will come and those people get what they earn! I support the ban!

  • Ben Creasey says:

    Please ban horse pulled carriage tours. It is cruel, unethical and unnecessary.

  • Gloria says:

    Animals have feelings. This don’t make sense. The carriage company should be fined and someone should face criminal charges. How dare they do that to the horse. I am okay with horse carriages but the animal must be WELL CARED FOR AND LOVED. RIP JERRY!!!

  • Lisa Long says:

    sorry people, I hope they have the same thing happen to them, and then they rot in hell.

  • Nette says:

    Please, do not use horses to carriage people around in Utah. Buy a bike or use your own feet. Thanks. Nette

  • cindy garza says:

    what an outrage!!! please ban this treatment to horses.. they are dying in the heat!! it has to stop!!!!

  • Billy Reno says:

    They killed him b/c he was about to get expensive. Jerry was a commodity to them, not a family member or even accorded the privileges of being a friend. He was there to make them money, period.

  • Kylie Campbell says:

    Please put a ban on horse drawn carriages in the city. It is a stressful, cruel life that these animals simply cannot handle and were not designed to do in congested cities, surrounded by cement.

  • Nadia Shamsi says:

    HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES SHOULD BE BANNED EVERYWHERE

  • JENNIFER MCDONALD says:

    Please ban all horse drawn carriages!!!!

  • Danyel Lieberman says:

    To whom it may concern, Please do what you know in your heart is right.Ban horse drawn carriages in your city! Be the example that other cities follow. Stand up and take action.

  • denise says:

    I respectfully ask that this practice be stopped. It’s dumb and animals suffer for it. Thank you.

  • Robin Sarna says:

    I think this is unacceptable. As the Mayor you should have been up on this sort of thing. That horse died for nothing. So sad

  • April Clark says:

    PLEASE discontinue the use of horse-drawn carriages in your city!

  • debra heverly md says:

    horses succumb to colic when they get dehydrated – straight up – because of being forced ‘to work’ in temperatures where they overheat and can’t hydrate – Jerry should not have been forced to do this work in temperatures that clearly led to his painful and tragic demise

  • meghan says:

    This is animal abuse. Horrible. These people should be arrested.

  • Missy says:

    Please protect these horses.

  • zane says:

    grow a heart?

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