Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

NYC Carriage Driver Charged With Cruelty

Written by Alisa Mullins | December 20, 2013

Thanks to an alert police officer who noticed that a horse in Central Park was having trouble pulling a carriage, a New York City carriage driver has been charged with cruelty.

Horse-Drawn CarriageHorses all over, like the one featured here, are forced to pull carriages in noisy, traffic-filled streets.  

After questioning the driver, the officer learned that—despite the fact that the horse, Blondie, had been exhibiting lameness for several days—the driver, Saverio Colarusso, had forced her to work for five hours that day. The officer testified that Blondie’s injured left hind leg caused her to “have difficulty walking and substantial pain.” Colarusso was charged with cruelty to animals and faces a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. He was also ordered not to have any contact with Blondie, who, after being examined by a police veterinarian, was determined to have a potentially fatal hoof infection commonly caused by improper hoof care and unclean conditions. This isn’t the first time that Colarusso has run into trouble with the law. He was previously charged with drinking on the job, operating a carriage during unauthorized times, and failing to keep the carriage lit after dark.

This latest incident adds fuel to PETA’s campaign to get horse-drawn carriages off New York City streets. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has promised to ban them, and former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who had repeatedly blocked a bipartisan proposal to replace the carriages, will herself be replaced in early January. Hopefully, this means that the abuse of horses forced to pull carriages for long grueling hours in all weather extremes in New York may soon be a thing of the past.

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  • Alvaro says:

    Keep this man locked up

  • barbara van hull says:

    Terrible and cruel practice, underfeed horses in terrible weather working long hours…Terrible shelter and feeding/care practice as well.

  • Kermit says:

    Kudos to this wonderful police officer for taking notice!!!! We need to BAN this horrible industry everywhere. This is beyond terrible.

  • Donna Marguglio says:

    I feel the same way about the horse carriages here in Charleston SC. I have recently become a tour guide and refuse to work with the carriage companies for this reason. Although these horses seem very well cared for, the thought of any animal pulling these carriages in the type of heat we endure down here is absolutely unacceptable.

  • susanna Cila says:

    This Horse Drawn Carriage situation is a disgrace. The horses should be left alone to be horses and not rides. People should be using their legs when doing this kind of work. I see people all the time in Manhattan, doing the Rickshaw thing where they use their own legs.

  • SHIREEN says:

    HOW VERY CRUEL CAN YOU BE ??? WHAT SORT OF SCUM HAVE WE NOW ??? PLEASE SEVERLY PUNISH, FINE & PUT IN PRISON, HE SHOWED NO COMPASSION OR FEELING !!! BRAVO & THANK YOU TO A VERY VIGILANT POLICEMAN, MAYBE THERE ARE MORE THAT NEED TO BE WATCHED.. MONEY & GREED AS USUAL MORE THAN KINDNESS.. I HOPE THE POOR HORSE IS BEING WELL LOOKED AFTER THE NOW ? THE PAIN FROM THAT WOULD MUST HAVE BEEN HORRIFIC !