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Central Park carriage horse driver faces animal cruelty charges for neglect

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Saverio Colarusso was charged with animal cruelty on Friday in New York for working a carriage horse in Central Park with an obvious injury to her rear left leg reported the New York Times.

The charges came after New York City Police Officer Brian Coll noticed a horse having a hard time pulling a carriage in Central Park.

“The horse had an injury to the rear left leg,” Officer Coll testified, “causing it to have difficulty walking and substantial pain.”

According to court documents, Colarusso allegedly admitted the horse named Blondie had the injured hoof for days, but Colarusso still worked her for an additional five hours on Wednesday.

The hoof infection, commonly known as thrush, is characterized by a rotting odor emanating from the underside of the hoof. The recent inclement weather with snow and road salt may have added to the problem. According to Equisearch,

"thrush rarely causes lameness and poses no major health hazard. But if you encounter the condition in your barn, you will want to review--and probably revise--your management routine."

Colarusso has had previous issues involving his horse driving career; from driving with alcohol to driving his horse through city streets at unauthorized times.

If found guilty of animal cruelty, this would be the first instance of animal cruelty in N.Y.C's carriage industry.

As of now, Colarusso has been suspended from his job pending an investigation and is prohibited from seeing Blondie. If found guilty, he could be fined $1,000 and face a maximum penalty of a year in jail.

Get well soon Blondie.

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