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New York City Carriage Horse Rescued from Slaughter

June 30, 2010 | Horse Carriages / Horses

Press Release


MEDIA CONTACTS: Elizabeth Forel, President, Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages; Mobile: 917.628.9121; E-mail

Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals; Mobile: 917.940.2725; E-mail

Susan Wagner, President, Equine Advocates; Mobile: 917.757.6838; E-mail

Bobby II
Rescued Carriage-Horse

New York City--A former NYC carriage horse was rescued from a slaughter auction in Pennsylvania on June 25th by advocates who have been pushing for a ban on the exploitative horse-drawn carriage industry for several years.

Friends of Animals, The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, and Equine Advocates collaborated on rescuing the horse, who was discovered to be for sale at the notorious kill auctions which are the last stop before the slaughterhouse for horses who can no longer turn a profit for their owners. Tens of thousands of horses are trucked to Canada and Mexico and slaughtered every year.

According to records from the Department of Health, this horse, with the ID number of 2873 on his left front hoof, was listed as being owned by someone from the West Side Livery Stable, a privately owned carriage horse stable located at West 37th St, since at least 2005. The horse is now safe in his new home at the Equine Advocates horse sanctuary, in Chatham, NY, where he will live the rest of his life in freedom.

Bobby II
license number on hoof

"Having researched carriage horse records for many years, I have learned that about 1/3 of the NYC carriage horses are eliminated from the Department of Health horse registry yearly, totaling approximately 70 horses," stated Elizabeth Forel, president of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. "The current law does not protect any of the horses from going to the kill auctions."

West Side Livery, whose owners are responsible for the horse ending up at the kill auction, was the site of a shocking investigation last year by Animals Angels, which revealed inadequate standing stalls, sand buckets used for fire protection, and filthy horses tethered to their feed troughs. View investigation here.

Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals said, "The rescue of this carriage horse from slaughter saves one; but other horses are doubtless sent to slaughter by the carriage horse industry-and it has to end. New York City's proposed Intro 86 will put a legal end to the cycle of auctions, abuse, and death, and I urge Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to pass it into law as soon as possible."

The lucky former carriage horse, who will be known as Bobby II, will be arriving today to a welcoming reception at Equine Advocates, located in Chatham, NY.

Local school children will join the festivities with posters welcoming Bobby to his new home. The press is invited to visit at any time and should contact Susan Wagner at 917.757.6838 for further inquiries about visiting.

Intro 86, a bill sponsored by Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, and strongly supported by Friends of Animals and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, would replace horse-drawn carriages with electric-powered antique cars, and crucially, would amend the current loophole in the law allowing horses to end up at slaughter auctions, and would assure that all former carriage horses were placed in an appropriate sanctuary or refuge.

***Pictures and video of the horse, including the carriage-horse ID number on his left hoof, will be furnished to the media upon request. ***

Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals to live free according to their own terms.



What do the New York Police do with their horses when they are finished with them? What happens to the horses used all around the country for crowd control, when they are no longer able to work? We need to check into this and check into many other things

It is wonderful that this horse was able to be rescued, but heartbroken to think of the number of others who are sent off to slaughter every year.

A NYC tradition? We are supposed to be the leaders in the world and yet, when it comes to animal liberation, we are so far behind. These poor horses spend many years of their lives in slavery in Central Park, in plain view of the world, just to be disposed of when they are no longer of use and be killed inhumanely. Shame on us!

You would never believe if I tell you what I saw in my life, working with these horse owners. I worked almost in every carriage horse stable in NYC. This is what they do. When the horses are no more wanted they send them to butcher. They cover it up as they keep the ID number and they assign to a new horse they bring. The ASPCA officers and vet don't even know how to check a horse. It is crystal clear to see if a horse is lame. How come the aspca vet doesn't see it? This is ridiculous. Billy was a very good horse, his driver killed Billy, they didn't send him to a farm for 5 years. Billy is owned by Maria, run by Sebastiano, registered under Maria Sulva name.

NYC or any big city is not a place to have horses. It is dangerous for the animals and humans. NYC is way to over populated to still be allowing carriage horses to operate. I understand like everything else horses do like structure and they enjoy working to a point. However, not a horse or human would want to carry stupid NYC tourist or residents around all day in sweltering temps or freezing temps.. There has to be a better way. There is no excuse for the constant mistreatment of these animals, blatant disregard for the few laws that govern the care of these animals, and the moron humans that are profiting from the ongoing abuse, let's not forget all the people that turn their heads and act as if they don't see the abuse. New Yorkers need to speak up telling the mayor they do not want carriage horses either. There is no reason for them anymore. Those poor animals need to be adopted into loving homes/farms where they can peacefully live out the rest of there natural existence. I think they have suffered enough.

I am so happy that this horse was one of the lucky ones!! The horse & other animal rescue groups are WONDERFUL!! All you do for animals is INSPIRING!! If only they ALL could be saved, I cry at the thought of all the ones that are abused, tortured, & killed at the hands of such terrible, soul-less, heartless, indifferent, greedy humans!! I worked as a vet. assist. for over 10 yrs., &, I've always had pets in my life.....&, they DO feel pain, fear, sadness, all the same things we do!

I grew up in the 40s in this city where horses are forced to give rides to people who do not realize how difficult it is to navigate a horse through all kinds of traffic. This practice has to stop !!!!! This is not 1900 anymore....when will people realize this? I don't care how well the owners of horses say they keep their animals.....sure they do....they want to make sure the animal is well enough to continue this awful practice. Thank God, my mom would never take me on these horse and carriage rides when I was a kid, she knew it was inhumane ! Thanks Mom, you were so right !

We in Canada are painfully aware of the numbers of American horses shipped openly (under feedlot scams) or clandestinely to our country for slaughter. The Canadian Horse Defense Coalition (CHDC) and at least three other organisations are fighting to change the laws so that American-owned horses do not slip under your laws and end up in our abattoirs (four new ones have been launched due to the increase in numbers). The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has recently made it illegal to slaughter a horse who has not passed tests for bute and other human-deleterious drugs. I know this is not enough and, of course, is not meant to protect our beautiful equines, but at least we are making some headway. The road is long but if American horse-lovers and Canadian horse-lovers work together, at some point, we will, once and for all, protect a species without whose help and devotion none of North America would be what it is today. Cynthia D'Errico, M.A.

God bless the people who realize how wonderfully beautiful and awesome horses are and work to save as many as possible. The abuse, neglect and slaughter of these magnificent creatures is beyond my understanding. Thanks for rescuing Bobby II

The fate of horses, of homeless dogs and cats will not change in our City, until our current Mayor is put out to pasture and the ASPCA is revealed to be the power-hungry, money grubbing force that it is. The ASPCA was conspicuously absent when the most recent farce of a "carriage horse industry bill" was signed into law by a "let them eat cake" Mayor, who also thinks that “There’s never been a better time to be a dog in New York City,”; I guess he has never been to any of the Animal Care and Control "shelters" where thousands of homeless cats are dogs are slaughtered every year...just like he has probably never visited the tenement stables that house many of the magnificent herd animals that are forced into indentured slavery, pulling stupid tourists around on sweltering, fume-filled streets...until they are driven into the ground.


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