Sunday, December 22, 2013


Note:  posted 7:30 pm 12/22/13 - Tony Salerno, manager of West Side Livery Stable,  told me that up until several months ago, the driver who was charged with animal cruelty worked for his stable but now works for Clinton Park Stable on W. 52nd St.  This is where Blondie is kept.  This is where Blondie most likely picked up thrush.  Shame on all the many drivers, owners and stable men for ignoring this horse.  


West Side Livery Stable  - small stall; nasty bedding 
The desperation and lies from the NYC carriage trade and their extremist supporters is growing out of control  – they are making up lies as they go along.   

One of the most intriguing subjects concerns the horse stables and their claim that since we have not seen them, we do not know what we are talking about and are not competent to make complaints about them.  They suggest that if Mayor-Elect deBlasio sees the stables,  he will change his mind about his intention to shut down the trade.   They are wrong and definitely delusional.

Stables totally inadequate:  It is not necessary to see the interior of the stables in the flesh to  know that they are totally inadequate:  There are four carriage horse stables in Manhattan  – all between 10th and 12th Avenues on the far west side  – on W. 37th, W. 38th, W. 48th and W. 52nd Streets.   They are all multi-storied stables housing stalls on upper floors. The horses access the stalls by a steep ramp.  There is only one means of egress --  in the event of a fire, it would be virtually impossible for the horses to escape.  

West Side Livery - typical
The stalls, by law, must only be 60 square feet or 6’ x 10.’  They call these box stalls because of the configuration – not size.  This is less than half what experts recommend, which is 12’x 12’  or 144 sq. ft.  for standard bred horses about 10000 to 1500 pounds – and  14” x 14”  or 196 sq. ft. for the large draft breeds who can weigh over 2,000 pounds. 
No pasture on which to graze:  In addition – the horses have no access to pasture turnout to graze – something horses need on a daily basis.  None whatsoever.  They work a 9 hour day,  and come back to their small sterile stall where they wait to be taken out the next day  - they do this for 7 days,  47 weeks a year.  The owners are required to send the horses for five- week furloughs every year to a “horse stable facility.”  But there is no requirement in the law that these “facilities” be approved by the ASPCA or the Department of Health or that they meet any standards.  As a result, we have heard complaints that some of the horses return from their furlough looking worse than when they left.  We have also heard they are kept in stalls and not fed properly.  But no one seems to care enough to investigate this.  

The former ASPCA equine veterinarian, Dr. Pamela Corey, is cited in the NY Post on November 2, 2011 as saying "We have observed some horses returning to New York City after furloughs on a farm in worse condition than when they left."  This was never investigated.

The former ASPCA equine veterinarian, Dr. Pamela Corey is cited in the NY Post on November 2,
West Side Livery 
2011   as saying “We have observed some horses returning to New York City after furloughs on a farm in worse condition than when they left.”  This was never investigated. 

Carriage driver charged with animal cruelty:  And  now comes a new twist – a carriage driver being called out by a NYPD officer and charged with animal cruelty for allegedly working his horse with a 4-day old injury.  The driver,
Saverio Colarusso,  was seen in Central Park on Wednesday, December 18th  by Officer Brian Coll who stopped him when he saw his horse struggling with the weight of the carriage.  The NYTimes broke the story on Friday, December 20th.  

The spokesperson for the trade is (of course) denying that this is common practice and trying to distance themselves from the diver.  But this puts a crimp in their mantra of  “The NYC carriage horses are well-cared for – as a matter of fact, there has never been a carriage horse driver cited for mistreatment, cruelty, or abuse of a carriage horse. “

We have disagreed vehemently with this statement  because we know that the regulations governing the trade are not enforced.  This driver is finally the one who slipped through the cracks thanks to a compassion and astute NYPD officer.  We also know it not to be true because of the many violations published by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

 Drivers are inclined to break the laws when no one is looking – whether overloading their carriage with too many passengers; making illegal u-turns; or ignoring a lame horse.  Hiring a platoon of officers to follow the drivers for infractions is as absurd as it would be costly.   Police officers are not familiar with the specific laws and generally look the other way – this time it was different and Officer Brian Coll is a true hero. 

The ASPCA is giving up humane law enforcement on December 31st.  But they were rarely in Central Park so would not have seen something like this. 

Clinton Park  - dismal  - certainly not "light & airy" 
Need more impartial investigations:  We also wonder why the media is not investigating this animal cruelty incident further.  There are too many unanswered questions  - such as:  why wasn’t the owner of the horse charged with cruelty also?    It is ultimately his/her responsibility for the welfare of the horse.
Why didn’t the stable hands and other drivers notice something was wrong?   The horse is alleged to have had a 4-day old injury on his left rear leg causing him to limp. 
Why didn’t the customers notice or say anything? 

Clean and airy stalls - I don't think so:  The cruelty charge and the diagnosis of thrush also calls into question their “clean, light and airy stalls”  and the “r
egular vet and farrier visits.”   It is highly probably that Blondie was standing for some time in filthy urine-soaked bedding, which was ignored. 

Thrush is easily prevented by cleaning a horse’s hooves daily – before and after his shift – and keeping the stall clean and dry.    If left untreated, as this horse apparently was, it can cause lameness.  It is a glaring example of neglect.



Anonymous said...

Shame on NY!

Anonymous said...

It is pretty obvious that " so called Conservatives" are jumping on this Bandwagon, as a Propert Rights Issue. These are the same folks who would defend horse"soring" and puppy mills. Anything for a buck at the expense of the animals. These horses need to be retired. NYC traffic is NO place for animals. The tenement-style housing these horses endure is pitiful. Ha nitty and Limbaugh read these scripts from their palacial- island digs. What a joke.

Teresa Campbell said...

All involved, owners, and irresponsible drivers need to be prosecuted for this travesty. Shame on all!

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Anonymous said...

They should ban horse carriages everywhere. Helen,Ga does not need horses.