In case you hadn’t heard enough about horses in the past few weeks…
This morning, PETA protested outside the City Hall trial of a driver who is charged with animal cruelty by depicting a horse “crime scene.” Saverio Colarusso, a horse-drawn carriage driver, was arrested in December 2013 after a police officer noticed that his horse, Blondie, was having a hard time walking.
It was revealed that Blondie had been forced to work for four days with thrush, a painful and potentially lethal hoof infection.
In the protest, a Blondie replica lay on the ground, surrounded by yellow crime scene tape and angry activists fighting for the rights (and removal) of New York City’s carriage horses.
“Cruelty cases such as Blondie’s show that the corrupt, cruel carriage trade has no regard for the law or the well-being of the horses,” said PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews.
Just this April, another carriage driver, Frank Luo, was accused of falsifying a hoof ID to pass off an old and ailing 22-year-old horse as a 12-year-old.
“This goes to show that no amount of regulation can protect horses from abuse at the hands of cruel, corrupt drivers,” Ashley Byrne, PETA Campaign Specialist, told the Observer. “It’s time to protect these horses by retiring them to sanctuaries.”
When asked about Pumpkin, a carriage horse who got loose and careened straight into a taxi door just last week, Ms. Byrne concluded: “That’s just another example of why it’s dangerous to have sensitive, high-strung animals like horses in the middle of traffic and noise, and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed.”