For months, we had received calls from tourists, residents, and whistleblowers about six horses in Chicago who were under the “care” of carriage-ride operator JC Cutters. These horses were reportedly forced to endure Chicago’s freezing winter weather in a tent without adequate food or water. In February, we let you know that Chicago officials had investigated the horses’ living conditions and their quickly diminishing weight and had impounded the horses.
After receiving endless complaints about these cruel operators, working with tireless Chicago activists, and making repeated calls and sending numerous letters to city officials, we’re glad to report that two former employees (a manager and horse owner) of JC Cutters were found guilty Wednesday on six misdemeanor counts related to animal neglect and one misdemeanor count for failing to meet the minimum standards for feeding and sheltering the animals in their care.
The story of these six horses has a happy ending, but unfortunately, there are still countless others in the carriage industry who are living in decrepit conditions in cities across the U.S. How about taking a cue from our friend Jon Stewart? While you might not have an Emmy-winning talk show, you can speak up for the tired and weary horses who are forced to pull carriages day in and day out. Let city officials know that horse-drawn carriage operations should be shut down in Chicago, New York City, and in your own hometown. With the widespread availability of humane transportation around the world, horse-drawn carriages are clearly a thing of the past.
Written by Liz Graffeo