Stop Inhumane Treatment of Horses- No more Horse-Drawn Carriages in Cleveland!
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Making horses pull oversized loads like carriages is cruel. Horses are forced to toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic, and pound the pavement all day long. They may develop respiratory ailments because they breathe in exhaust fumes, and they can suffer debilitating leg problems from walking on hard surfaces. Horses have dropped dead from heatstroke after working in scorching summer heat and humidity.
Horses are afforded no protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act, so the responsibility of looking out for their welfare falls to local animal-control officials. But anti-cruelty laws provide few safeguards to horses, and many humane agencies just don’t have the resources or the time to monitor horse-drawn carriages on a regular basis. Animals can easily be overworked when profit-driven operators fail to follow regulations.
And there are no laws preventing old, injured, or spent horses from being sent to slaughter. Horses are considered property under the law, so owners can dispose of them in any way that they want. Since many may consider it cost-prohibitive to care for an animal who isn’t bringing in any revenue, the fate of discarded horses is grim.
UPDATE: On July 15, 2017 another terrified horse fell in traffic while being forced to pull a carriage. Here are the details from an eye witness:
Last night a horse from Shamrock carriage rides in downtown Cleveland was forced to go down a very steep slippery brick hill with heavy traffic and collapsed slid and hit a car. He was clearly terrified because he kept peeing everywhere and was so exhausted he was not able to stand and yet the carriage driver was trying to get him down the hill and to keep going instead of pull him off to the side of the road to avoid being hit by a car like many horses being used for this do. After my friend and I insisted he only cared about himself and continuing on and that he needed to get him off the road he finally listened. The horse had been injured sliding and should not have been forced to keep going so he can make a dollar. He only called for help because we made a scene. Not because he cared. Myself and a couple others pulled the carriage off of him and made the driver unhook him and called someone to get him on a trailer and out of there. WE tried to calm the horse down and help him relax to ignore all the drunk belligerent people walking by and swarming him to take pictures with the horse. Not even the driver. We had to explain to people what just happened and to back off the driver didn't warn anyone. He wouldn't completely unlatch him and the horse spooked and ran in the street to get away not knowing he was still attached and dragged my friend across the road by his foot that got caught and slammed him into a cement pillar, ran into the steep street and collapsed on his side. It took several bystanders to help get the horse up so he didn't get hit. We had to put car mats under his hooves to get an actual drip on the floor, because it was that slippery. The driver couldn't even handle his own horse in a situation like that. Luckily there were several of us around that knew how to handle him. The horse got up and ran down the road the second he was free and the gentleman took him back up the SAME steep road that exhausted him instead of having someone come to THEM. This is cruel and unnecessary to force these horses, a skittish animal, to walk for hours in the heat and humidity, in over crowded city roads, and surrounded by too many people to make money. You can say they're "bred for this." But what we witnessed yesterday was so wrong. This is why horses are killed in roads all the time. It wouldn't happen if we didn't allow companies like this! Someone needs to investigate this company and get it shut down. Learn what roads and routes are IMPOSSIBLE for your over worked horse to travel. Learn when your horse needs a break to eat, drink and rest. Understand the busy streets of Cleveland on a Saturday night is not the place for a horse. Stop using horses for your little "fairytale" ride through Cleveland and just to take pictures and say you road a carriage. Nothing about this is a fairytale. It's entertainment for humans and slavery for them to walk hours and hours on end in 80+ degree weather up and down steep hills. So so cruel.
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