An exhausted carriage horse that collapsed during the evening rush hour in Manhattan on Wednesday is sparking outrage in NYC and online.
Witnesses on the scene uploaded a video to Twitter after the animal’s knees buckled on the asphalt near Times Square. According to The NY Post, an onlooker on the scene said the driver of the horse jerked the reins and slapped the horse to make it stand up as it collapsed. The owner has since been called out for alleged animal abuse.
New York pedestrians were reportedly disturbed as the dejected horse laid down on its side and rested his head on the street before several NYPD officers came to help. Many called for the horse’s owner to face consequences, even “jail” for the horse’s condition.
BREAKING: This horse COLLAPSED while pulling a carriage in NYC, likely from heat exhaustion, and has been down for over an hour.
Horses don’t belong in big cities where they’re put in constant danger because of cars, humans, weather, and more. pic.twitter.com/vXBVRJRjPB
— PETA (@peta) August 10, 2022
Comments poured in online from concerned people and PETA about the horse’s welfare, including one from a person claiming to be a veterinarian.
“As a vet, I can see from this picture she is way too thin. This poor horse.”
PETA made the following statement regarding the alleged abuse of the horse—named Ryder.
“Just weeks after a horse in New York City’s carriage trade collapsed and died in his stall, another horse collapsed yesterday and lay on Ninth Avenue for over an hour with no veterinary care while his driver reportedly slapped him, whipped him, and screamed at him to get up. The city’s horse-carriage trade has been plagued for years by complaints of mistreatment and overwork of horses, and PETA is calling on the NYPD Animal Cruelty Investigations Squad to launch a criminal investigation into this incident. We will rally outside City Hall today in support of Int 0573, which would replace these cruel carriages with electric ones that don’t force horses to toil for tourism.”
As a vet, I can see from this picture she is way too thin. This poor horse. If the water was cold, that would make heat exhaustion/heat stroke even worse. Lukewarm is best!
— ABW (@spooner44) August 11, 2022
Horse Eventually Stood Up After One Hour
According to video and witnesses, a group of police officers then arrived. They were filmed drenching the horse with water, finally getting him on his feet after more than an hour. Reportedly, the NYPD’s mounted unit also transported the animal to an unknown location for treatment, according to police.
“I saw the horse collapse. He obviously was malnourished, dehydrated, hungry. The guy started whipping his horse and telling him to get back up instead of giving him water,” Uber Eats driver Kelvin Gonzalez, 25, told The NY Post.
“I told him, ‘Yo, stop whipping him, give him some water. That’s a horse, not a machine.”
The concerned New York witness said he could tell the horse was not being taken care of by its owner.
“It’s really sad, man. You can tell he was exploiting that horse. The horse was hungry, he was thirsty. You can tell the horse collapsed from the thirst.” Gonzalez said.
A horse pushing a carriage collapsed in Midtown Manhattan due to the heat, NYPD officers and other city workers helped the horse with water. This is the moment the horse was able to get back on its feet
( Repost) #heatwave #NYC #NYPD pic.twitter.com/TJmpC6XoDA
— Viral News NY (@ViralNewsNYC) August 10, 2022
Last month, New York City Council members introduced a bill that would replace horse-drawn carriages with electronic carriages in Manhattan. Advocates feel strongly about the summer heat creating inhumane working conditions for the animals.