NEW YORK (WABC) – New York authorities are expected to release new details on Tuesday about the horse that collapsed in Hell’s Kitchen last week.
The announcement comes amid growing calls for the district attorney to open an animal abuse investigation.
Zoo activists held a protest, demanding action after a the carriage horse fell apart in Hell’s Kitchen.
Members of NYCLASS, PETA and community leaders rallied outside City Hall after the incident was caught on video.
It happened on the evening of August 10 at Ninth Avenue and West 45th Street.
Police officers turned to the assembly department with a request to take care of the horse.
They put a pillow under his head, cooling it with ice and a hose, and the crowd cheered when the horse managed to get to his feet with the help of the New York police.
The horse, Ryder, 14, was then taken to a private stable at 10th Avenue and West 38th Street.
Onlookers thought the horse had passed out from the heat and steam, but vets said otherwise.
“We thank everyone for taking care of Ryder, one of Central Park’s beloved carriage horses,” said TWU Local 100 President Tony Utana. “The vet who examined Ryder thought he had EPM, a neurological disease caused by opossum droppings. This is another example of why people shouldn’t be too quick to judge our horses or the blue collar workers who choose to work with and care for them. Unfortunately, horses – just like people – can get sick.”
However, animal rights activists have renewed their calls for legislation to replace horses with other forms of transport.
“It will take horses off the streets and replace them with cruelty-free electric carts,” said PETA’s Ashley Byrne. “It would be a win for everyone.”
The industry employs about 150 people who love the tradition and advocates say they care about the horses they work with.
They say the horses are well guarded.
“We have extensive rules,” said coach driver Christina Hansen. “This horse, because it is a carriage, has much more protection than anywhere else.”
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