Update: Jerry the Horse Revealed Dead After Cover-Up

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

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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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind