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Charleston Council Members: Boyd Gregg ([email protected]); Kevin Shealy ([email protected]); Jason Sakran ([email protected]); Robert M. Mitchell ([email protected]); Karl L. Brady, Jr. ([email protected]); William Dudley Gregorie ([email protected]); Perry K. Waring ([email protected]); Michael S. Seekings ([email protected]); A. Peter Shahid, Jr. ([email protected]); Stephen Bowden ([email protected]); Ross A. Appel ([email protected]); Caroline Parker ([email protected])

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PETITION TARGET: Charleston City Council Members

Forced to haul tourists day after day on concrete in the hot sun, while surrounded by cars — that’s the reality for horses in Charleston, South Carolina who are used for carriage rides.

Lady Freethinker (LFT) investigated the conditions for horses in Charleston’s carriage industry and found that horses often are forced to pull more than a dozen people at a time — with carriages allowing for a load of up to 16 passengers plus the driver — and the city’s ordinance allowing a single horse to pull up to three times the animal’s own weight.

Charleston’s ordinance also requires four readings of 95°F or a heat index of 110°F — temperatures at which horses in other cities have collapsed and died — before horses are taken off the streets.

LFT’s investigator also observed one horse named Gary confined to a barn with ropes attached to his face, and others who were crammed in tiny barn stalls in the city’s busy downtown, according to LFT’s investigator.

What’s more, between January 1, 2016, and July 1, 2022, there were more than 140 carriage industry incidents recorded by the City of Charleston, according to Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates.

Horses deserve better than to be worked to exhaustion and death for people’s “entertainment.” Charleston’s officials need to know that this cruelty will not be tolerated.

Sign our petition urging the Charleston City Council to follow the lead of cities across the country that have banned cruel horse carriage rides and to usher in more compassionate, non-animal alternatives.