On August 17, a 13-year-old carriage horse, named Jerry, collapsed on State Street in downtown Salt Lake City. One of his owners has announced that he died on Friday from colic.
The Salt Lake City Tribune headline states, “Carriage » Co-owner says he couldn’t share news of Jerry’s death Friday because he was out of cellphone range.” Officials in the mayor’s office responded that the Oversons should have announced Jerry’s death earlier, according to the Tribune.
When Jerry fell to the pavement and could not get up, PETA officials alleged that high temperatures contributed to his collapse. It reached 97 degrees that day, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
Jerry was hauled back to the Carriage for Hire stables, before being taken to a barn outside Salt Lake County to recover, co-owner Blaine Overson told KUTV News on Monday. That location was not disclosed, nor were Animal Services officers allowed to see Jerry, which caused People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the media to ask for updated information.
A photo was sent the Salt Lake Tribune which purportedly was Jerry but raised serious doubts because the horse was healthy and a different color.
Blaine Overson told reporters that his wife had sent the picture because Jerry had been getting better and she expected him to return to their city stables soon. But those who saw the photo became irate about a possible deception.
Annette Overson told the newspaper she made a “stupid mistake,” because she was tired of seeing a picture of her horse on the ground, the Tribune reported.
Jerry had been getting better and walking more on Wednesday, according to Blaine Overson, but, by Thursday Jerry took a turn for the worse and, on Friday, he died.
It wasn’t until Sunday that Blaine, who was away for the weekend, told his wife that Jerry had passed away. Thus, she continued to say Jerry was recovering, Blaine Overson said.
Councilman Charlie Luke has called for research on carriage business licensing. Mayor Ralph Becker supported him and stated in a media release on Monday, “Following this series of events, the appropriate action for the City is to decide whether or not continuing to license carriage businesses is a good fit for our community.”
PETA has called for horse-drawn carriages to be banned in Salt Lake City and any urban areas.