Will Chicago say ‘nay’ to horse drawn carriages?

Horse drawn carriage Chicago. Source: WTTW.
Horse drawn carriage Chicago. Source: WTTW.

Multiple media outlets have covered how Chicago’s horse carriage companies are violating both Chicago’s Ordinance and the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act by overworking carriage horses, among other mistreatment. Will the City of Chicago ban horse drawn carriages? They have a great opportunity before them to do just that. Let’s see.

CBS Chicago reports:

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s downtown horse carriage rides may be forced to ride into the sunset.

Three aldermen are backing a move to eliminate the carriage rides before the winter holidays, with strong support from animal rights activists.

Danny Shugrue, the manager of Antique Coach and Carriages, says Chicago will not be the same without its iconic horse drawn carriages. “How many things are we going to drive out of the city where it’s just a generic thing? With no character left?” Shugrue questioned.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th Ward) contends the horse carriages add cruelty, not character.

“They’ve not been able to regulate themselves and the city doesn’t have the resources to regulate them,” Ald. Ray Lopez stated. He is joining Ald. Brendan Reilly and Brian Hopkins, backing an ordinance that would bar carriage operators from renewing their licenses in November, essentially driving them out of business.

Animal activist Jodie Weiderker of Chicago Alliance for Animals points out, and the city confirmed, carriage operators received 334 citations and more than $20,000 in fines last year.

“We have witnessed and documented horses being overworked, sometimes as long as 12 plus hours, working horses when it’s been 90 degrees or hotter and also not providing water, many times,” Weiderker said.

A vote is set for the next City Council meeting. Read more; view video report »

No Vote

The City Council Committee declined to vote.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

The fate of Chicago’s horse-drawn carriages will remain uncertain for a little while longer, after a City Council committee declined Wednesday to vote on an ordinance that would put them out of business.

Emma Mitts, chairwoman of the Committee on License and Consumer Protection, said she believes that given more time, a compromise can be worked out between foes of horse-drawn carriages in Chicago and the horse and carriage owners. The committee was considering a proposed ordinance that would bar horse-drawn carriage owners from renewing their licenses, putting them out of business in the city. Read more »

There is no compromise for cruelty. You have failed Ms Mitts. And this is not the first time the Chicago City Council has failed the horses on this issue.


The more things change the more they stay the same. Listen to this argument Committee chairwoman Mitts made:

“The decision by the committee not to vote followed three hours of often-emotional testimony from both sides. After testimony ended, Mitts expressed anger that she was being pressured to make a quick decision about the carriages when people are dying from violence in other parts of the city.” See Tribune story »

What? Sigh.

Create a Storm

Let’s show love for Chicago’s carriage horses and support the work Chicago Alliance for Animals is doing on their behalf.

Get out there on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and protest the continuance of horse drawn carriages in Chicago. You don’t have to be from the area. The carriage horse trade is tourist driven and the City of Chicago will not like getting bad publicity. Let’s put the heat on. Will you help?

Sample language. Use the first phrase always. The select from the rest. Hashtags and handles to follow. Peak hours for hashtagging #Chicago is 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST.

Ban horse drawn carriages Chicago. It’s dangerous and inhumane. Cruelty knows no regulation. Just ban it!

@ChiCouncil #chicouncil

#chicago #horses #carriagehorses #horsedrawncarriages

Or do something quick like this:

Ban horse drawn carriages #Chicago. @ChiCouncil

On Facebook go to one of Chicago’s top tourist pages https://www.facebook.com/ChooseChicago/ and leave a message. No threats, no bad language etc. Just a quick, simple message.

Let us know your ideas in comments or by email to info@horsefund.org.

Related Reading

Chicago refuses to enforce carriage horse laws, One Green Planet »

Chicago Alliance for Animals Facebook page »


Join our State Anti-Horse Slaughter Campaign

Horse in profile silhouetted against a night sky. Unattributed Google search image.
Unattributed Google search result image.

LOUISVILLE,KY (Horse Slaughter) — We need your help and support to fight against horse slaughter at the State level. Join us.

Here’s why.

Horse Meat Inspection Defunding

(1) If the defunding provision of USDA horse meat inspections continues so it cannot be exported for sale, we still need to continue working hard to close the transport to slaughter loophole.

(2) If the defunding provision of USDA horse meat inspections fails, we need to already be actively working at the State level to let lawmakers and elected official know its residents are strongly opposed to horse slaughter returning to U.S. soil in their State.

It doesn’t matter if horse slaughter is already banned in your State. There are movements afoot right now, specifically in Texas, to overturn the law against horse slaughter should the defunding language not make it into the Appropriations bill. Reports from feedlot operators in Texas tell us that they are scouting facilities for the re-opening of horse slaughter plants . . . plants, plural.

The Safe Act

We do not know if the federal bill banning horse slaughter — H.R. 113 — will be successful or not. It is in Committees and Subcommittees. That’s a lot to fight its way out of.

However, say that it is signed into law making the slaughter and transport of U.S. horses for slaughter illegal. There are enough paid traitors in Washington D.C. who will eagerly take blood money to overturn a ban on horse slaughter by sneaking language into an unsuspected piece of lengthy or obscure legislation.

There is no doubt about it. Pro horse slaughter forces are busy at work. We need to be busy at work  against horse slaughter.

Here’s how you can help.

Take a Stand

Please fill out the following form and go on record against horse slaughter so we can compile lists of residents against it to submit to State Governors, lawmakers and elected officials. Doing it here creates an electronic trail.

You must check the box if you are opposed to horse slaughter or we cannot use your submission.

Make a Donation

Make a donation to help with expenses. It is important that we have at least one lobbyist in every State responsible for leading our campaigns.

Local lobbyists are expert in area politics, the inner workings of their State legislatures (which vary widely across the country), who are “boots on the ground” able to provide us with information we can get no other way, even if we are physically there ourselves. Local lobbyists are always immensely helpful in identifying potential powerful allies (and enemies).


Please share this message across all media platforms to help us gather large numbers of residents of every State to make a strong, solid voice against horse slaughter. Thank you!

Do More

Tweet State Governors. See this Twitter campaign from March Against Horse Slaughter »


Sign Petition telling Texas A&M to stop abusing and sending horses to slaughter

COMMERCE, TX — Horses are being exploited and abused at Texas A&M University including at Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC) reports One Green Planet.

Justice for Tina

According to a petition on Care2 written by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a horse by the name of Tina was brutally shot to death after being impregnated when she was suffering from a severe case of painful laminitis. Her foal was removed from her body and used for “educational” purposes at the school. (See Image. WARNING-GRAPHIC).

Reports showed that Tina’s laminitis had been neglected for so long that the pedal bones in her feet had “rotated through the soles of her feet,” causing “debilitating pain.”

It was also established Tina was not healthy enough to be impregnated.

This egregious cruelty was exposed by a whistleblower. Read more and sign Petition »

Horse Slaughter

Additionally, TAMUC has been known to sell horses online and send them to animal auctions, where their destiny is an almost-certain trip to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered.

Sign the Petition

If you love horses and are saddened by TAMUC’s treatment of them, please take a moment to sign this petition addressed to the university asking them two things: to instate a zero-tolerance policy for neglect and abuse of their horses, and to stop selling horses online and at auctions, where they are almost always purchased to be slaughtered.

Social Media

Shame them publicly on Twitter. Tweet them using @TAMUC. Example: I just signed the Petition at https://goo.gl/k2zx1l re horrible horse cruelty @TAMUC. It will also raise awareness.

See also their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tamuc/.

Texas A&M and Horses

The Department of Animal Science Horse Center at Texas A&M University supports the teaching, research and extension efforts of the faculty and students within the Department of Animal Science. The Horse Center breeds and sells horses throughout Texas, giving students a hands-on approach to the horse industry from breeding to management to marketing.

Texas A&M University–Commerce is a public research university located in Commerce, Texas. With an enrollment of over 12,000 students as of fall 2016, the university is the third largest institution in the Texas A&M University System.

Source: Texas A&M University’s website.

Headshot of a horse at Texas A&M. From their website.

5/10/17, 3:07 am

Help us get 2/3rds of the House to co-sponsor the PAST Act

Image from 2015 HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.

WASHINGTON, DC — Help us get 2/3rds of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 1847, the PAST Act (Prevent All Soring Tactics).  We only need 80 more co-sponsors to do it.

The PAST Act is written to help close the loopholes in the Horse Protection Act outlawing horse soring.

Horse Soring

Horse soring is the use of chemicals, pressure or devices to cause pain to the front feet and legs of horses when they touch the ground. This results in the horses picking up their front feet higher and faster than they would do naturally.

Horse soring is an abusive and prohibited practice, illegal in the U.S.  It is closely associated with a unique high-stepping action of the front legs called “big lick” movement in show ring Tennessee Walking Horses.

Practitioners of soring do so because they believe that the pain associated with this practice exaggerates the “big lick” to a greater degree and gives them a competitive edge over horses that are not treated in this manner.

Other breeds that have a history of horse soring abuses include the Racking Horse and the Spotted Saddle Horse.

Reintroduction of the PAST Act

The PAST Act  — H.R. 1847 — was introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL-3) with 208 originating co-sponsors. At the time of this writing, H.R. 1847 has 220 co-sponsors. [1] Let’s take it to 300. Together we can do this.

The reintroduction of the PAST Act became necessary when an equal provision awaiting publication in the Federal Register was axed in its early days by the Trump Administration at the behest it has been suggested of Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. [2]

The Federal Registry entry contained new rules to close enforcement loopholes in the Horse Protection Act.

The new rules, which call for the removal of action devices and the ungainly pads on the front hooves, were approved on the last day of Barack Obama’s administration but had the support of 224 Senators and members of Congress, as well as over 100,000 public comments. [3]

Take Action

Please do one of the following.

First, find out if your Representative in Washington D.C. has co-sponsored H.R. 1847, then take one of the following actions:


• If they have, please endorse the bill and in the endorsement comments section thank your Representatives for co-sponsoring H.R. 1847 and ask them to use their influence to take it all the way to becoming law.

• If they have yet to co-sponsor H.R. 1847, endorse the bill and tell them in the comments section why it is important to you, but most of all for the horses.


If you are not a POPVOX member find your U.S. Representative with your 4+ zip code and use their contact form to ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 1847.


If you know who your U.S. Representative and prefer to telephone, the Clerk of the House maintains addresses and phone numbers of all House members and Committees. Call (202) 225-3121 for the U.S. House switchboard operator.

Be sure to give them your name and address so they can identify you as a constituent. They may not ask! If you want a reply from your Representative you must ask for it. It is not automatic.

No form letters

Do not use automated systems with formulated messages. Your message is unlikely to be seen or counted. Batches of these things are often counted as one.

Sign Up with POPVOX

If you have yet to sign up with POPVOX we urge you to do so. We want your voice heard and our years of experience lobbying show us this the easiest and most effective way, and the most informative.

Your legislators and their staff use this tool to track constituent support and opposition and the reasons why. POPVOX also offers other important constituent services.

All you need is a working email and password to sign up.

POPVOX now offers its services at the State level so you can follow legislation that is important to you there too!

The Horse Fund have been with POPVOX since their launch. This is a promise fufilled: “POPVOX keeps you updated on issues at the state and federal level. Find out about bills under consideration, add your voice, and share with your networks for real policy impact.”

Check out our page to see which horse related bills we endorse and oppose. Thank you!

Image from 2015 HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.