On August 17, 2013, at about 2:00 pm, I videotaped and photographed a horse named Jerry who had collapsed on State Street in downtown Salt Lake City while pulling a carriage. Jerry could not stand on his own, and I watched as several people tied ropes to his body and dragged him into a trailer. Please sign this petition asking the city council and mayor to adopt an ordinance prohibiting horse-drawn carriages on city streets.
Hundreds of cars zipped by, only a few feet from Jerry’s body on the asphalt. When Jerry was taken to a stable in an industrial area of Salt Lake City, I kept the tape rolling and watched with sadness as Jerry’s limp body was lifted with a fork lift and carried into a barn. Jerry’s owners have stated that Jerry has colic. Colic can be brought on or exacerbated by dehydration, heat, and stress – three factors that are a part of daily life for horses pulling carriages. The high in Salt Lake City was 98ºF on the day that Jerry collapsed.
I documented this tragic incident in hopes that if Jerry’s story was told and enough people heard it, we could make sure this doesn’t happen again. Horse-drawn carriages do not belong in a densely populated and noisy environment like downtown Salt Lake City. Horses forced to pull carriages in Salt Lake City are overworked in miserable weather extremes, subjected to the dangers of congested traffic, and forced to walk on hard asphault for several hours each day.
These dangerous conditions are inherent to the use of horse-drawn carriages in an urban environment. They cannot be corrected with regulation because it’s impossible to reshape the landscape of our city to suit horses. No amount of regulation can protect the public from the danger of horses bolting when they become frightened. I’ve known and worked with horses at a nearby animal sanctuary for several years, and I know that they thrive in a quieter, more spacious, rural environment.
I know that Salt Lake residents care a lot about animals, and I’m urging the City Council and the Mayor to take action to end the use of horse-drawn carriages on our busy city streets. I’ve lived in Salt Lake City for several years and am proud to call it my home. We can do better than this. Please sign my petition if you agree.
Please note: Over 23,000 people have signed this petition so far from around the world, but we are just displaying the Utah signatures to the public.