Thursday, April 2, 2015



Recently, I wrote a blog for about the mysterious death of a New York City  carriage horse named Tickles, which occurred on February 13, 2015.   The Daily News was the first newspaper to report that Tickles had been euthanized in his stall “after an accident left him with a fractured leg.” 

If you do not know the story or need to be refreshed, please read the piece in TheDodo called "NYC's Handling of Carriage Horse Death Raises Many Questions."  It discusses the inadequate information I received via the Freedom of Information law, all of which pointed to a shoddy Department of Health “investigation.” 

This is the letter I sent to top people at the Mayor’s office and the Department of Health.  It is dated April 1, 2015.  Will it be ignored?  Will any action be taken?  

On behalf of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, I request that the Department of Health conduct an appropriate and extensive independent investigation into the death of Tickles, which occurred on February 13, 2015.  

The information I recently received through the Freedom of Information Law from the Department of Health revealed how inadequate the handling of this death was.  We find it unacceptable.  

It is highly possible that Tickles fractured his leg before he got to his stall.  This means it could have happened to him while he was on the street working -- or at the farm.  To make the assumption that Tickles was cast in his stall -- as Dr. Farrell did -  is just that - an assumption.    

The  web site for the farm Tickles went to for furlough, shows that they offer carriage rides and other horse events.  Was Tickles forced to participate?  Was Tickles also worked at the farm?  It is possible.  As you know, the existing laws - written by the carriage trade -  never required the DoH to inspect or approve any of these furlough locations.  

The veterinarians employed or hired as consultants by the DoH all have conflicts of interest.  In this case, Dr. Farrell had previously testified on behalf of the carriage industry at City Hall.  This is wrong.  

Please let me know if the DoH intends to investigate this death in an appropriate and independent way.

This is an article I wrote for  What I do not say in this e-mail, i said in the article so please consider it as part of this communication.      

Thank you.  

Elizabeth Forel
President / Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages