NYC Carriage Driver Is Charged With Animal Cruelty

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“How in hell could this knob head not notice his horse was lame? Horses have a distinct bob of the head, that indicates which leg, front or back is causing them pain; thus making them lame! You would have to be a complete novice not to notice a horse that is lame!  I’ve said it before & will carry on saying it…horses should not be used on the streets of NYC, working nose to tail amongst car fumes; 9 hours a day, seven days a week!! Any idiot could drive a horse pulled carriage; but it takes a real horse lover to really understand the horse & know when they are ill!! I feel guilty that my horse has to be stabled each night, to let the grass rest over winter…but these poor horses only feel grass under their feet for a couple of weeks per year; it’s wrong, very wrong!!”
By  – 

Published: December 20, 2013

A carriage horse driver with a chequered history was charged on Friday with animal cruelty after a police officer observed him working a horse that was visibly injured, according to court documents.

Horses working 9 hours a day, 7 days a week IS WRONG!! (Not Blondie)

The officer, Brian Coll, was on patrol in Central Park shortly before midnight on Wednesday when he noticed a horse struggling to pull the weight of the carriage to which it was yoked.

He questioned the driver, Saverio Colarusso, and learned that the horse, Blondie, had been hurt for four days, according to court documents.

Despite the injury, Mr. Colarusso had worked Blondie for five hours that day, Officer Coll testified in the complaint.

He then summoned Sgt. Raymond Aviles, a mounted police officer with training in dealing with horses.

The horse had an injury to the rear left leg,” Officer Coll testified, “causing it to have difficulty walking and substantial pain.”

Mr. Colarusso was arrested. If found guilty, he could face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

It is not the first time Mr. Colarusso has gotten in trouble. In 2010, he was charged with drinking while on duty after being spotted drinking a beer while standing next to his carriage. Two other bottles of liquor were found inside the carriage.

He has also been fined for driving his horse through city streets at unauthorized times, failing to keep a daily log and not turning on the lamps on the side of his carriage after dark.

A lawyer representing Mr. Colarusso did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

About 200 horses work in Central Park, and animal rights advocates said that while Mr. Colarusso’s arrest might be unusual, many horses on New York City’s streets were suffering.

The case, they said, was more evidence that the newly elected mayor, Bill de Blasio, should make good on his campaign promise to ban horse carriages from the city’s streets and parks.

“This incident further reinforces the need for an end to carriage horse operations in the city,” said Bret Hopman, a spokesman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “The A.S.P.C.A. believes that the use of carriage horses in 21st-century New York City is unnatural, unnecessary and an undeniable strain on the horses’ quality of life.”

The union that represents carriage drivers did not respond to calls and an email seeking comment.

Christina Hansen, a spokeswoman for the carriage industry, said it was “shocked and saddened to learn that one of our drivers was charged with animal cruelty.”

She said that if the driver were to be convicted, it would be the first time a carriage operator, owner or stable was found to have committed cruelty.

“I have spoken with the owner of Blondie, who says that he was unaware that Blondie had shown any signs of lameness or discomfort when being driven by Mr. Colarusso,” she said.

Ms. Hansen did not identify the owner by name, but she said: “He has suspended Mr. Colarusso pending the outcome of the investigation. We do not tolerate any mistreatment of the carriage horses in our business.”

If the police had not noticed Blondie’s condition, animal experts said, the injury could have proved fatal.

A subsequent examination by a police veterinarian found that Blondie had a condition called thrush — an infection of the hoof that if left untreated can lead to the horse becoming permanently lame, and subject to euthanasia.

Thursh can occur when a horse is not cared for properly and is kept in unclean conditions. After Mr. Colarusso’s arrest, an order of protection was issued directing him to stay away from Blondie.

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 Just a few Petitions to sign:

More Information:-

ASPCA – Reporting Carriage Horse Abuse

Our Agents rely on concerned citizens to report incidents or issues they may witness regarding the care and conditions of NYC’s carriage horses. The following tips will help you report suspected carriage horse problems:

  • The two most important pieces of information to provide are the time of the incident and the carriage license plate, a 4-digit number located on the back of the carriage. With the time and number, we can track down the horse and driver involved.
  • Other helpful information can include: color of horse, color of carriage, location of incident and hoof brand number of horse.

To report carriage horse cruelty or neglect, contact us at or 877-THE-ASPCA (843-2772).

How You Can Help

  • If you are a resident of NYC, show your support by contacting your Councilmember and asking him or her to support Intro. 86, the humane and safe alternative to the carriage horse industry.
  • If you are from out of town, please write to the mayor to voice your concern, and stay involved by visiting our website at
  • If you witness any abuse of a carriage horse, write down the license plate number found on the back of the carriage, the time and location, along with the color of the horse or any distinguishing markings, and, if possible, the horse’s hoof number, which is branded on the front left hoof. Then call 877-THE-ASPCA (843-2772) to report it.

NYC Carriage Horses:

Please Help Save The NYC Carriage Horses This Christmas

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Posting on behalf of my mum!

******ACTION ALERT – CROSS POST FAR AND WIDE: CONTACT THE ASPCA EVERY DAY (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450***********

Are you tired of seeing exploited, overworked NYC carriage horses hauling around callous tourists while dodging taxi cabs, buses and trucks?!

Are you tired of seeing the ASPCA counting their money while the NYC carriage horses continue to drop on the streets of Manhattan?! The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for the greedy and abusive carriage horse industry.

The ASPCA is supposed to monitor the carriage horses and ensure that the industry is following the city regulations. Where is the ASPCA? We have no idea.

Please contact them every day and ask them why they are not on the hack line monitoring the carriage horses who are being overworked during this busy holiday season.

Their phone number is (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450.

Please call them every day and ask them what they are doing to ban the carriage horse industry in NYC and remind them they need to be out there every day to monitor the horses and the drivers.

News Link:-


Published on 17 Aug 2012

Yesterday afternoon, a six-year-old carriage horse named Oreo was spooked by a horn, broke free from his carriage and tore through dangerous NYC traffic for four blocks before being tranquilized and collapsing in front of horrified onlookers. Thankfully, Oreo is now recovering in his stable with minor scratches.

Even though you don’t live in New York City, you can still make a difference for the horses by sending a letter to City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn. Fill out the info below and click SUBMIT to tell Speaker Quinn that as a NYC visitor, you want humane electric cars, not carriage horse abuse!


FBI — WARNING — Federal law allows citizens to reproduce, distribute or exhibit portions of copyright motion pictures, video tapes, or video disks under certain circumstances without authorization of the copyright holder. This infringement of copyright is called fair use and is allowed for purposes of criticism, news reporting, teaching and parody.

Please watch the following, it’s the first time I have; it really gives a clear insight into this industry. It is very upsetting to all animal lovers, so I guess I must say view at own discretion. I am not as strong as my mum when it comes to watching videos where animals suffer; but I know she & other animal advocates do so to get the information out & educate people on the atrocities that occur, often right under our noses. Just watch as the people pass these noble steeds, as if they were nothing but ornamental decorations.

I have just come back from seeing to our 2 horses who live in luxury & want for nothing…so to see these beautiful horses, nose to tail with exhaust fumes, dodging traffic & idiotic humans is just heart-breaking! I have been to the horse sales with my mum & seen horses that are spent, from over breeding, horse racing, abusive owners & horses who are so lame from road founder, they can hardly stand! But I bet that’s nothing compared to the horse sales where NYC carriage horses end up. Those once noble beautiful horses, now reduced to pitiful sentient beings literally on their last legs…will have one last journey, to the slaughter house! Please say NO to this cruelty!

Just a few petitions to ban NYC Horse Carriages:-

Montreal SPCA Rescues Two Carriage Horses Allegedly Abused By Their Owner

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“Sorry, but I don’t agree with having carriage horses in the middle of busy city centres  it’s absolutely ridiculous! Aside from the obvious danger of being hit by a car or spooking & running into a car etc. they have to work dam hard in all weathers. Next time you see one, take a good look at it, does it look happy to you? I doubt it…If they were only used in nature parks & had proper field turn out, with large stables, that wouldn’t be too bad. Plus remember the horse has the bridle & bit in nearly 8 hours a day 6 days a week, imagine how sore his mouth must be; it never gets any rest time from a bit.”

Now if they could say for certain that they receive the 5 F’s I wouldn’t have a problem with them, but as you can see, it’s impossible for carriage horses to get the 5 F’s:-

1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour. A horse can’t eat or drink properly when on a stand waiting for fares, as soon as a fare comes along, his nose bag has to wait.

2. Freedom from Discomfort – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area. I wouldn’t call standing, walking trotting on concrete roads comfortable, they can’t lay down when they want,  nor would I say they are comfortable having the carriage harness on every day!

3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment. As I said, continual pounding on concrete doesn’t do the hoof’s, legs or pelvis any good, horses are not built to be on road surfaces all week

4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind. Unless the horse is going back to a turnout field or paddock, he can’t express normal behaviour, horses love to roll, especially after all their tack is removed, it’s their way of scratching their backs etc. They love to groom each other & enjoy being free to run & play with their buddies. They can sleep standing up, in fact their knee’s lock, to stop them falling down; but it’s not a deep sleep, like they can have in a field, whilst other horses watch over them, ever ready to alert them to any possible danger. In my experience most larger breeds would prefer fields to lay, roll & sleep in, even if they have a large stable. My mare has a very big stable, floor & walls rubber matted too, but she won’t lay down in it, she’s too clumsy at getting down then back up, so she waits until she gets outside; then finds the muckiest spot to roll in…yes, I’m sure she does it on purpose too! lol

5. Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering. Being surrounded by noisy engines, car horns, wagons etc. is enough to cause a horse distress, even if they have been pulling a carriage for several years, they will still be distressed by a noise they haven’t heard before & can’t see it because the blinkers stop their view!

“As you can see from above, I’m not sure the horses get the 5 F’s, therefore I oppose them.  Horses are flight animals, they should not be nose to exhaust pipe, on busy roads in cities etc. Pounding on concrete or asphalt, all day up to 6 days at a time, doesn’t do the horses feet & joints any good what so ever! See the back left leg of the black horse, the hock looks like an open wound, the right looks like it’s going to go the same way too! It could have happened as it fell, but can’t see that as most go down on front legs first. I suppose they could have been caused by his back legs rubbing against the carriage. I can’t quite figure out what that plastic looking ring is around his left hoof?”

MONTREAL – Two carriage horses, Blackjack and Captain Bob, have been rescued by the Montreal SPCA after the driver apparently abused the animals.

Last Sunday, the SPCA received a call from police requesting assistance with a case of alleged cruelty towards Blackjack, a carriage horse in Griffintown, the district of Montreal where the historic and controversial Horse Palace is located.

The Griffintown Horse Palace is a stable for carriage (or calèche) horses that dates back to around 1860.

The land is owned by former carriage driver Leo Leonard, also known as Clawhammer Jack, but since he retired in 2011, a local foundation has been trying to save the stables from being sold and turned into condos.

According to witnesses, the horse collapsed on the way back to the stables. The driver of the carriage apparently kicked the horse once it was on the ground.

The SPCA arrived on the scene and immediately contacted an equine veterinarian to examine and attend to the horse’s injuries.

“This incident draws attention to the deplorable work and living conditions for carriage horses in the city of Montreal,” said the SPCA in a statement. “Something the general public is not necessarily aware of.”

“These horses are often forced to work nine or more hours per day, seven days a week,” said Alanna Devine, the Director of Animal Advocacy at Montreal’s SPCA.

“They are subject to potential collisions with traffic, loud noises that can cause spooking, extreme temperatures and years of walking on unnaturally hard surfaces which often causes lameness.”

“When they are not working, are tied in stalls where they have no opportunity to move around freely or engage in any other natural behaviours and that most of the horses when they can no longer be used to pull carriages will be sent to auction or to slaughter.

The horse that collapsed on Sunday was given to the Montreal SPCA by its owner, along with Captain Bob, another horse that the owner no longer wished to keep.

The two horses have been moved to a foster home where they will be living a very different sort of life – spending time outdoors, socializing with other horses and receiving the necessary care and attention.

Once the animals have fully recovered, the SPCA will be looking for permanent adoptive homes for both horses.

The organization will also continue investigating what caused the horse to collapse, as well as the allegations of animal cruelty against the carriage driver.

The SPCA hopes that the unfortunate incident may draw attention to the living conditions of carriage horses and say it’s time for Montreal officials – and Montrealers – to take a closer look at the horse-and-carriage industry and at the working and living conditions of these animals.

SOUND OFF: Do you think that Montreal should ban its horse and carriagesLet us know on Facebook.
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Animal welfare activists seek ban on horse carriages along Alibaug beach

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Horse carriages are made to ply tourists through waist-deep water, notice sent to collector.

Following no movement on their complaint against horse carriages made to ply through waist-deep sea water at Alibaug beach, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization (FIAPO) has now sent a legal notice to the District Collector of Raigad on the issue and has asked for a ban on such practices at all beaches in the area.

“Since there was no action taken post our letter to the district collector in February, we have now sent a formal complaint under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code so that immediate action is taken,” said Shakuntala Majhumdar, governing body member of FIAPO. “Apart from a ban on the practice near Kolaba fort, this time we have asked for a ban on horse carriages across all beaches in Alibaug,” she said.

The complaint terms the activity as a public nuisance since it puts human life at risk and amounts to cruelty against the animals under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960. “It is an eminent threat to both the horse and people on the carriage.

To the horse, because it is forced to pull a heavy load through waist deep sea water and to the people, because in case the horse slips and the carriage falls, it may cause them serious injury, especially to children and the elderly,” said Ambika Hiranandani, FIAPO’s lawyer. The complaint is made under Section 133 of the CrPC as it gives the district magistrate power to ban an activity which he considers public nuisance.

Newsline had reported on February 23 that FIAPO had complained against carriage drivers at Alibaug beach forcing horses to ply through waist deep sea water to ferry tourists to and from Kolaba fort, which is about a kilometer from the beach and becomes accessible by foot during low tide.

When Newsline visited the spot, an estimated 30 to 40 such carts were found on the beach with two horses each. Experts said saline water can cause dryness of hoof of the horses leading to lameness and since horses cannot see the depth of water, fatal injuries can take place. Besides, carrying such heavy loads is abusive to them.

News Link:-

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