A big and muscular dapple grey draft horse, aged 13, collapses in a Salt Lake City street, while working as a carriage horse. An official announcement from his owner, Blaine Overson, about the death of the horse named Jerry is delayed almost a week.
On Friday, August 23, Overson confirms that Jerry died of severe colic.
Attention is drawn to Jerry’s plight when a video, taken by an onlooker, goes viral online. Jerry’s struggles to get back on his feet prompts concerned calls from the public and advocates for animal rights for enactment of stringent laws to protect carriage horses from abuse.
Charlie Luke, Salt Lake City Councilman, seeks to research the carriage business and its licensing. An August 26 press release by Becker fully backs up Luke’s request for such research.
We are … extremely disappointed that the owners of Carriage for Hire chose not to publicly share this information [death of horse] in a timely manner. 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.
Considerable turmoil occurs in the public arena about Jerry’s condition after Annette Overson sends photos of a healthy horse to the media. It was then that Luke requests to see Jerry for himself. Now Overson confirms Jerry’s death. He states that Jerry came down with colic that took his life.
The Oversons say their horses are well-cared-for. None is abused or overworked. Carriage for Hire operates all horse-drawn carriage rides in Salt Lake City.
Overson says, "We loved Jerry. We love all of our horses."
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