A horse pulling a carriage collapsed on the street. A spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said he was in the area and took pictures and video that shows Jerry the horse lying on the sidewalk. His owners used rope to try to get him up.
“It was a pretty disturbing scene to be honest,” said Jeremy Beckham, PETA spokesperson. “Clearly the horse was not well. He couldn't stand on his own even though people were trying to drag him onto his feet.”
Eventually heavy equipment is used to lift Jerry and carry him into a nearby barn. Carriages for Hire owns the carriage and the horse. The owner didn't want to go on-camera but tells ABC 4 Utah, "Jerry has colic and when horses get it, it's tough to look at,” said Annette Overson, Owner of Carriages for Hire. “Jerry collapsed because of the pain. They called the vet and the vet gave jerry pain injections to help."
Beckham admits to not knowing the full range of Jerry's medical complications, but said the incident is an example of why horses and an urban environment don't mix.
“These horses are trotting along on pavement, their feet are not designed to walk on pavement and their forced to pull carriages in frigid temperatures and sweltering heat, it's really a recipe for injury,” said Beckham. “Cars are still zipping by just feet away from his collapsed body on the pavement, it was a really terrifying situation for the horse I’m sure.”
PETA wants a ban on the horse carriage industry. One woman who also witnessed the collapsed agrees. “I think the horse and carriage thing is kind of cute, but I'm not too sure it's great for the horses,” said Melinda Leblanc.
But carriage customers said there's no proof the horses are treated poorly.
“The horse didn't seem to be treated or pushed in anyway it seemed very reasonable,” said Craig Dixon.
When it comes to criticism of horses pulling carriages in an urban environment, Overson said "People will have their opinions, but there are people and dogs out there on the street and these horses love this work. They need a purpose."