On Labor Day weekend, cruelty was caught on camera in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen as a bystander photographed a collapsed horse who had been forced to pull a carriage.
The carriage-horse driver allegedly “scream[ed] for the horse to make the green light,” then the horse “collapsed” https://t.co/AnBH53hqeW
— New York Post (@nypost) September 12, 2016
On September 2 at around 2 a.m., Bogdan Paul Angheluta told the New York Post that he saw a carriage driver “screaming for the horse to make the green light.”
Shortly afterwards, the 14-year-old horse named Norman collapsed at a busy midtown Manhattan intersection. Angheluta said that Norman was “breathing slow and hard” on the ground as he lay there for roughly 20 minutes.
Angheluta tried to calm the fallen and exhausted horse. Eventually, a group of men came out from the horse stables with a bucket of water for Norman. They told Angheluta to “leave the horse alone.”
NYCLASS—an advocacy group working to end the cruel, dangerous NYC horse-drawn carriage industry—received the photos from Angheluta and alerted the Mayor’s Office and the Health Department. The group called on Mayor de Blasio to “stop with the same old empty rhetoric and keep his promise to protect these horses.”
“Had this witness not come forward to report the incident to animal advocates, the public never would have known it even happened. How many other horse incidents have been hidden from the public?” NYCLASS said in a statement.
Other concerned bystanders like Angheluta are also exposing horse torture via social media. Just recently, photos surfaced documenting a pool of blood on a road in Charleston, South Carolina, allegedly from a horse who was being forced to pull a cart loaded with passengers after losing a shoe and injuring his hoof.
Cruel Relics of the Past
Horse-drawn carriages are hazards in 21st century streets. There have been countless incidents in which carriages have been hit by impatient or careless drivers. Accidents have been documented in nearly every city where carriage rides are allowed.
These horses are forced to toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic, and pound the pavement all day long. They may develop respiratory ailments from breathing in exhaust fumes, and they can suffer debilitating leg problems from walking on hard surfaces.
What You Can Do
If you live in New York, please join others in protesting Mayor de Blasio’s silence on horse-drawn carriages. There will be an event outside Gracie Mansion this Thursday, September 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. Let others know you’re coming and find out more details through the event page on Facebook.
For those who live outside New York, tweet Mayor de Blasio @BilldeBlasio and demand real protection for horses.
If you live in a city where carriage rides are still allowed, contact your local legislators to ask them to sponsor a ban. Many cities—including Biloxi, Mississippi; Camden, New Jersey; Key West, Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, and Treasure Island, Florida; and Salt Lake City—have already banned horse-drawn carriages.