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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.


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! 

Commenting is closed.
  • tamara alza says:

    please stopppppppp !!!!!

  • desiree wood says:

    Please stop this unnecessary torture. These gentle creatures deserve better then this. We don’t need horse drawn carriages, especially in very hot or very cold weather. Please be compassionate. Thank you, DW

  • Andrew Holtmann says:

    Something like that should not happen in the USA. I hope that some serious action will be taken

  • Diana Stein says:

    Please ban horse-drawn carriages. Horses should not have to die!

  • Doris duchesneau says:

    Not suppose to ne happen when you Like animal and honest

  • Denis Alizée says:

    Stop !

  • Nicola Healy says:

    Please do something to stop the abuse of animals on the streets of Utah. Horses do not belong in amongst traffic and fumes. Please take this seriously.

  • Gia Canalli says:

    This is murder and CRIMINAL….

  • Gerri Graham says:

    Working an animal in these conditions is cruel and inhumane. We need to remind ourselves that we are the caretakers of the Earth and all of it’s inhabitants… You’re in a position to DO THE RIGHT THING and put a stop to this

  • Ellis Dijkstra says:

    I am supporting this ban

  • Pauline Bunner says:

    I support a ban on Horse drawn Carriages in any City. I feel it cruel to expect a Horse to pull a Carriage full of People journey after journey in the sweltering heat. Please don’t let the Horse’s (Jerry) death be in vain. Please do your best and ban this activity. Yours respectfully, P. Bunner.

  • Susan Stielow says:

    Horses don’t belong on the streets anymore!! They belong on farms and in the wild. Not on everyday streets with modern day vehicles, exceedingly hot temps, and no watering holes for them to hydrate with. This is just deplorable that people in our modern day society think this is okay.

  • Michael N. says:

    Yes, I support a ban on horse drawn carriages. I’ve even asked our city attorney about how to enact a ban in my city against horse drawn carriages.

  • Alissa says:

    These people are criminals and should be brought to justice.

  • Cyndi says:

    ALL horse-drawn carriages should be banned. Most of them are in busy hectic cities where cars and buses also have to travel. It is cruel and inhumane to make any horse tow a carriage of stupid tourists in ANY kind of weather and smelling fumes from traffic. My heart goes out to Jerry and others that we don’t even know about. 🙁

  • Mona Bartmanovich says:

    I’m appalled about the treatment of animals in this day & age. They should never be used for the amusement of humans, nor should they be forced to work under such inhumanity conditions! Furthermore, the indignity that this poor creature was subjected to while dying is simply disgusting and heartbreaking. Please abolish all horse drawn (or any animal) carriage companies once and for all!!!

  • Elaine Renton UK says:

    I am so totally disgusted that Salt Lake City allow these beautiful Animals to be TORTURED for the entertainment of tourists !!! I was actually planning a trip to Salt Lake City in October when I fly to the U.S but after hearing of how cruelly these Animals are treated at your hands , SLC is no longer on my ‘must see’ list . I will do EVERYTHING in my power to deter other Brits holidaying in America

  • Mary Molina says:

    I not only support I DEMAND a ban on the cruelty perpetuated toward these beautiful animals that have been allowed to be used as tools to bring in dollars for the carriage operators….where is the justice? Stop being bloody hypocrites…it is all about the money.

  • Sara Ross says:

    Dear Mayor Becker and S.L. City Council members, Please do outlaw horse drawn carriages in your city. It does not help the reputation of your fine city to have such cruelty going on. It would seem especially against the religious or spiritual teachings to treat a creature that God created so viciously and inhumanely. Thank you for your consideration.

  • Maggie Ponce says:

    That is terrible that happened to Jerry and they lied about it. I hope something is being done about it. Someone needs to go back to Charleston SC and look at the carriages there.

  • susan walsh-smith says:

    heartbreaking & sickening…justice 4 jerry!!! evil sods

  • anita james says:


  • Karen Rose says:

    Please do not let these cruel antics carry on.. This is so very tragic

  • sandy kavoyianni says:

    Banned horse carriage

  • anna says:

    How can you let this happen to this poor innocent animal. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP please stop the animal abuse, its wrong. I understand that you’re a busy man but while you’re busy with paper work, these animals are being abused. Please you have the power to stop these horrible people. These innocent animals deserve a better life than this. Please BAN THE ANIMAL ABUSE ban carriage companies

  • Alfredo Alvarez says:

    this happens in the U.S.A.? REALLY? in 2013? in AMERICA? tell me its not true please tell me this is not so not in the U.S.A.

  • Karen Godfrey says:

    I totally support the ban of horse drawn carriages in any weather that is above 75 degrees and below 50 degrees. I think they are fun but every horse should only have to pull a 4 hour shift on any given perfect weather day.I know PETA won’t agree with me, but horses do need their excersize and a few hours in beautiful weather won’t hurt them.

  • Kathy Flood says:

    We are under the impression that we live in a civilized society. Thanks to PETA, and similar organizations, it has been revealed that, indeed, we do not. Any society that would turn a blind eye to the horrors and suffering that animals endure for human entertainment must certainly be on the verge of collapse.

  • Terri says:

    Ban horse-drawn carriages. It is a disgrace that these animals are exploited and have to endure needless suffering all in the name of financial gain.

  • Suzy Vied says:

    What a sad “thank- you” to a magnificent creature who toiled endlessly to make this carriage company money. Jerry pulled this carriage on hot, crowded streets, walking alongside cars that blew exhaust in his face and frightened him with their never-ending loud noises. May you rest in peace, Jerry, and may you find happiness and love in that great pasture in the sky. We are sorry for the horrible abuse you suffered while here on Earth.

  • Sadness from england says:

    I am quite honestly disgusted at this news, its 2013 things like this should not be happening to poor helpless animals, they do not have a voice just remember that because if they did am pretty sure they would choose not to pull carts in rediculous temperatures, jerry obviously was not cared for properly or kept hydrated or well rested which is just awfull, he has died due to heartless humans over working him and only caring about money in their pockets!!! i hope to god this stops its definatley about time we humans use our knowledge to help animals not harm them, poor jerry rest in peace, sorry your life was so terrible 🙁 STOP PLEASE!!!

  • tenzin says:

    This is shame thing that company couldnt handle precious animals who work for them! For most I would say the company is to blame and they should get punishment in a week or so.

  • S Porter says:

    Mayor responded to my email to ban horse drawn carriages by saying the company broke no regulations. Letter continued saying Jerry the horse was recovering! Let his death not be in vain

  • Nancy L Benson says:

    I think the public would love to see the owners / employees pulling customers around in those carriages! Working the same hours & under the same conditions as these innocent abused horses! This is sickening & so inhumane! Why does it take so many dying before government does something about it! Where is the common sense? And then the lies & big cover up! Shame on all of you!

  • Kenda Flynn says:

    There are plenty of electric carts that could be used instead !!

  • Paul Rousseau, MD says:

    Please stop this abuse of animals. And I am outraged about the attempted coverup of this poor horse’s death. Shame on the carriage company, and shame on Salt Lake City.

  • S Porter says:

    Mayor responded to my email to ban horse drawn carriages by saying the company broke no regulations. Letter continued saying Jerry the horse was recovering! Let his death not be in vain

  • Kenda Flynn says:

    Horrific ! I hope these people pay for their cruelty

  • frances phillips says:

    Please stop this cruelty

  • in the past says:

    A horse carrying a carriage? That’s the issue. Well him let’s think that’s how people got around in the past. That’s not abusive. What’s any bit of a type of abuse is after the animal collapsed. There should be work limitations and guidelines they have to uphold like time limits an animal can be used, types of surfaces, required rest time but completely band. No. Look at history, today’s farmers, the Amish and many alike use a house to pull a carriage of people or goods through street ways.

  • Ann Arthur says:

    What a sad outcome for this noble animal and what a disgrace! Please put a stop to the organisations that run these carriages. Either that, or introduce rules and guidelines along with the ASPCA to ensure their well being …..PLEASE

  • Cynthia S says:

    I support the ban on horse-drawn carriages. I believe if humans could ever be compassionate and responsible for the health, safety, comfort and mental health of any animal, at all times, then yes, horse-drawn carriages might be okay to maintain commercially. Unfortuanately, that doesn’t appear to be the case here. I know horse-drawn carriages are in many cities all over the world. And most are very responsible for the way the horses are treated, like in New York, London, Sacramento and San Francisco to name a few. My family owned horses throughout my life and in my experience, horses enjoy hauling small wooden carts or wagons for short distances a couple of times a day. It is excercise and they love to be touched, talked to and accompanied by their owners/family. But beating a horse to move a heavy metal carriage all day, every day, is an abusive act by any means. I think I would like the owners who abuse animals to have the same treatment they gave. I don’t believe it would bother me to see the carriage company owners and operators of Jerry pull 40 times their weight, for 20 miles, without water, while being beat with a heavy whip every 2 minutes!!! If that happened, I’m sure they would never consider abusing another animal and that’s only if they lived through the torture! This is no exaggeration of what that devoted and humble animal went through. When are “some” humans ever going to understand this?

  • harry says:

    Stop tourchering horses you go stand on hot asphalt for 14 hours see how long you last!

  • sweetpea says:

    I am so disheartened and disgusted with this treatment of gods creatures and I can only pray you put an end to the cruelty to these innocent animals asap

  • Amanda says:

    This is despicable, heartless, and cruel! May you be punished for treating animals this way. They have souls too! More precious than any of you for they are without sin and love unconditionally. And for you to treat such precious souls like that…well may karma not be kind to you. RIP Jerry you are now free…

  • Maleny Sandoval says:

    I am against this type of treatment for animals

  • Neha Ahuja says:

    Dont you see the pain these poor defenseless animals are going through?! It is unnatural for them to walk with blinders! They cant handle the crap we humans put them through, these poor animals cannot even fight back for all the torture we put them through. Pls hv mercy on them and spare them if this horrible life full of pain !!!

  • Kerry says:

    Absolutely appalled to see indisputable evidence of the cruelty suffered by Jerry the horse, forced to pull carriages with little (if any) regard for his welfare. The carriage company responsible should be investigated for animal cruelty and negligence. I think a ban of horse drawn carriages are long, LONG overdue and hope you soon come to the same conclusion.

  • Virginia George says:

    This is simply unacceptable. Please don’t let this happen to another animal.

  • Karina Arenas says:

    As a citizen of the United States, I urge to please look more into this company. I’m sure they are mistreating the horses. If this happened to Jerry I can only imagine how many additional horses they are mistreating. They only see the horses as a source of income. Why did they have to lie about Jerry’s whereabouts. Why not face the truth? I’m sure that they have a lot to hide. Please ban horse-drawn carriages in your city!