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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.
  • June Sherman says:

    I support the ban!

  • ina says:

    hope thiscompany gets closed

  • Sherri Topf says:

    I support the ban!!!

  • Nicole says:

    Dear Mayor Please take those horses from the streets. It should not be, that they have to pull tourists through the city under those horrible coditions. Please have a heart and help the horses from that torture. Thank you in advance. Kind regards, Nicole

  • Petra Harris says:

    I would be a tourist in your city, and this would tell me not to go to Salt Lake City if you don’t take care of your animals. In Europe their horses can only work 2 hours a day, then they are taken back to their barns brushed, watered and fed, and another horse takes his place, they don’t believe in running their animals into the ground. Shame on you and your city.

  • nat king says:

    horrible humans

  • Anita Morales says:

    Jerry’s death is the tragic reality we as humans expect of our animals. We subject animals to a painful and heartbreaking existence simply for our own entertainment and pleasure a tragic life which must stop now. Please take a stand and stop this cruel treatment; all it takes is a compassionate heart.

  • AP says:

    How terribly sad!!! How can anyone be so cruel???!!

  • Brandie says:

    I emailed the City Council in hopes of them making the right decision.

  • Alison Johns says:

    Please do the right thing and ban horse drawn carriages in the city. Thank you.

  • Karlene Arment says:

    This a very cruel and disgusting act on the part of the suspicious carriage company! I support a ban altogether not just in the city!! Put them out of business!!

  • Jessica Napier says:

    Horse drawn carriages should be banned from the city. If this company can’t take the time to take care of their horses they shouldn’t be allowed to have the horse drawn carriages in the city. This completely breaks my heart. My family is a horse loving family. My aunt has 4 horses who get tons of love everyday. I wish Jerry would have gotten a lot of love and care. He didn’t deserve to die this way.

  • Kim says:

    As much as I like the nostalgia of a horse drawn carriage ride while visiting any city I dont like how the horses are treated. I know I cant stand around being hot without being totally uncomfortable and Im sure they feel the same way. The horse drawn carriage rides are a thing of the past OR for people to do with their own horses for their own family. This is just not right to treat horses like this…or any animal really.

  • Lisa Leach says:

    Please BAN the use of horse drawn carriages in your city. As an owner of three horses I can tell that they are gentle, sensitive, forgiving creatures and like us, suffer in the heat. Animals that are forced to pull weight, such as a carriages through cities in hot temperatures, over super heated asphalt, are living a miserable life to say the least. Thank you for taking action on behalf of all the “Jerry’s” left on the streets.

  • koichi says:


  • etienne saint vregord says:

    It is a terrible crime against the horse Jerry, who has struggled as a slave throughout the life, and the owner has earned a lot of money on Jerry, that until the horse collapsed in death! Horses are living animals not a damned robot. Get this into the head. We all are so upset and cursed by of indifference and the torture that happens to live animals of sadistic barbaric people who does not care. They must be stopped.

  • Carol B says:

    No animal should be expected to make their way through sweltering congested streets for hours upon hours. People can choose not to. Animals, though, don’t have the choice when greed is a factor. Please don’t let Jerry and other carriage horses’ suffering go unheeded. Do the right thing, bring an end to this practice. And please see to it that the company that not only caused this tragedy but also lied about it close their doors for good.

  • kellie says:

    I thought the spca over there checked horses on the street especially in the summer ..for heat exhaustion .. this company obviously should be shut down fined etc ..but how could the public and the animal authorities should have noticed especially uf this company is known for this kind if behavior to their animals

  • JadeBOC says:

    makes me sick. people are so interested in making a wuick buck the welfare of both animals and humanity seems to mean nothing to too many people these days

  • Susan Gibbons says:

    Its time to ban the use of horses to pull carriages on city streets. Have the courage to do so in the name of humanity.

  • Cristina Cuesta says:

    No cruelty

  • Brandy says:

    I support the ban! I will not ever visit a city that has horse drawn carriages!

  • Terie Raftery says:

    Please stop using horses in the heat .

  • christine bunton says:

    Please take these horses off the streets & ensure they are given good homes.The owners obviously have no care for them & should be banned from owning them.They are cruel & heartless.America is supposed to be a civilized country,the treatment of these poor horses is not.

  • Bryson says:

    all horse drawn carriages should be banned

  • Bob says:

    When a horse lies down like this and no amount of force will get them to stand they are already in a serious state. I didn’t see anyone trying to cool him down with wet towels or ice? Obviously he was in an advanced stage of heat stroke. All they seemed to care about was removing his carcus not treating him! These people should not be allowed to continue operations if this is how they treat their horses!

  • toni harrison-kahn says:

    this has to stop before other horses drop dead.

  • Valentina Gambino says:

    Stop this DISGUSTING ” use” of animals!!!

  • toni harrison-kahn says:

    This has to stop before other horses drop dead…..

  • lola says:


  • Kerstin Williamson says:

    That made me very sad… I would walk and get the horse help. What is wrong with this picture? Everything… Terrible!!!!!! Hope it does not happen again and thanks for PETA for us to know.

  • Gary Garing says:

    This Company needs to be held accountable for their treatment of Jerry who obviously worked hard for them and no doubt he made them plenty of money. He should have had the right to be cared for and treated with dignity which is not what has happened in Jerry’s case. RIP Jerry hopefully your death has highlighted an issue which will see other animals in your situation treated more fairly.

  • laustin says:

    NOTE TO REST OF WORLD : End all tourism in salt lake city until they agree to stop this inhummane practice . There is no need in this century for horse drawn carriages in a city . iF YOU LIVE IN THIS CITY , PLEASE DO ALL YOU CAN TO END THIS .

  • Karen Lenn says:

    Please ban the use of carriage horses in the hot city on burning pavement. We need to show more compassion for creatures that cannot change their situations.

  • Michael J. Bara says:

    Mayor Ralph Becker only cares about money not animals.

  • Common Sense over Capitolism says:

    Why should there even be a question? Horses have never belonged in congestion traffic and the sweltering/ freezing extremes of Salt Lake City or anywhere else. Why would a grown sane adult even need to be told this?

  • Shirin Shahabeddin says:

    Please: No horse-drawn carriages in Salt Lake City anymore!

  • cynthia uhrich says:

    this is an absolutely hideous story this abuse of horses has got to stop

  • Sandra Mahoney says:

    This is ridiculous. From wild animals doing stupid pet tricks, to domesticated animals not being loved by a family, but being used for profit like a “nothing”, just a money making “thing”. They are feeling, caring, loving creatures that deserve more. Please stop the exploitation and obviously, the abuse of these animals. Horse drawn carriages are stupid and unnecessary and like the circus,need to be banned. (except of course Cirque de Soleil – people doing the tricks, by their own choice). We have to be the voice for these poor creatures of God. Please help. Sandra

  • Marianne Zangari says:

    Hopefully they will have a ban Save the Defenseless animals ;(

  • Sandra Mahoney says:

    This is ridiculous. From wild animals doing stupid pet tricks, to domesticated animals not being loved by a family, but being used for profit like a “nothing”, just a money making “thing”. They are feeling, caring, loving creatures that deserve more. Please stop the exploitation and obviously, the abuse of these animals. Horse drawn carriages are stupid and unnecessary and like the circus,need to be banned. (except of course Cirque de Soleil – people doing the tricks, by their own choice). We have to be the voice for these poor creatures of God. Please help. Sandra

  • Rhonda says:

    Please ban horse drawn carriages. This just WRONG what happened to Jerry and many other horses forced to this job.

  • jeannie forst says:

    this is criminal animal abuse and should not only be halted PERMANENTLY but the owners should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Wendy Worth says:

    Please shut down these extremely cruel horse-drawn carriage businesses. Horses should not be used for entertainment purposes or made to work among busy streets filled with traffic congestion, noise and other pollution. It is unnatural and ridiculous. Thank you.

  • Jeanne Dupont says:

    je suis outrée par ces agissements d’une cruauté terrible. Je souhaite vivement que ces pratiques d’un autre âge prennent fin, une fois pour toutes, dans tous les pays.

  • Janet Langridge says:

    please ban horses from being exploited in this terrible way

  • Sherri Estrada says:

    This is not something we need. These horses are Not treated correctly. Stop the abuse NOW!!

  • Lynn says:

    This is so sad and could have been avoided.

  • Hayley Newill says:

    Hello, I read that your council are discussing a potential ban on horse drawn carriages in your city. I would like to encourage you to move forward with such a ban and show a lead to other cities. I cannot believe that animals are still allowed to be used this way and I read the story of Jerry and I pray that this will not happen again. Please, please ban the use of horses this way. Thank you.

  • Bridget Rice says:

    This is immoral, unethical, evil, and the antithesis of Christian principles. Further it should be a felonious crime carrying harsh punishment.