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Abuse of carriage horses under ASPCA’s watch

January 12th, 2008 · No Comments


January 12, 2008

Mr. Ed Sayres
424 E. 92nd St
New York, NY 10128-6804

Dear Mr. Sayres:

On Friday – when heavy rain was forecast – the horses once again left the stables and were forced to work in miserable and dangerous conditions, which included extended periods of torrential rain with thunder and lightening.

The law clearly states that horses should not be worked in “heavy rain or other slippery conditions”, but the ASPCA agent on your HLE hotline told me that they were allowed to be out in these conditions. This is not a gray area –  even our inadequate law states that the horses shouldn’t be out.    Allowing the horses to work in these conditions is animal cruelty, and the ASPCA is responsible.

Here’s what I witnessed:

The horses stood for two hours in the cold, pounding rain with no opportunity to seek shelter.   The horses did not have rain sheets or any other garment to protect them.  Of course, most of the drivers took refuge in their covered carriages.

After a couple of hours of unrelenting rain, some of the carriage drivers left Central Park South to go back to the “stables” (a dangerous ride on wet, congested city streets during a thunderstorm):

But other carriage drivers continued to pick up tourists on Central Park South:

And drive them into the park:

How could the ASPCA allow this egregious cruelty to animals and violation of the law?

Animal advocates around the country are waiting for the ASPCA to break its silence and publicly support Tony Avella’s bill to ban horse-drawn carriages.  Taking the sole step of posting (or burying…) an action alert on the ASPCA website is a slap in the face to all of the organizations and individuals who are investing tremendous resources into this fight.  Most of us understand the challenges we face with Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg, but a bill has been introduced, momentum has been built and a lot of time and money has been spent.  The time for the ASPCA to take a public stand on this issue which could have international implications is right now – not during the next administration.  Where is your leadership?

Donny Moss

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