Mistreated Carriage Horse Finally Getting Help Thanks to This Viral Photo
News| | By Robin Milling
The horse-drawn carriage business in the city of Nashville has taken a tremendous hit thanks to a Facebook photo that went viral.
A photo depicting an emaciated horse on the streets downtown was posted by Facebook user Preshias Harris from Nashville– the author of I Know Country and several other books about the art of singer/songwriting. She snapped the photo and posted the bony Percheron Draft horse to the social networking site on July 17. The photo went viral sparking outrage from the Facebook community and animal abuse organizations. It was shared almost 9,000 times with over 1 million likes.
“I TOOK THIS PICTURE MYSELF as I was leaving downtown today!!!!!! I’m CALLING on All of FB to help me raise awareness for the starvation of Nashville ‘Carriage Horses.’ This starving animal makes our city look cruel and inhumane! Mayor Barry what can be done??? OMG I’m in total shock!! His HIP bone and RIB cage are showing!!!!! This is horrific and we can’t let it continue!!!!!!!!!!! It’s makes me angry and sick – sick to my stomach! ????? Something has to be done! Next step is ASPCA. This company must be held liable and our city officials step in!!! Please share and re-post! Our police horses don’t look like this!! How come our police force hadn’t noticed it and gave them a legal warrant for animal abuse!!!!!”
Harris has since made it her personal crusade to prevent the inhumane cruelty that these carriage horses suffer. She made a Facebook plea to the Nashville media and it was answered by WKRN who investigated the story. As a result, Metro Animal Care and Control has cited American Melody Carriages, a horse-drawn carriage company in Nashville.
Officers have issued two citations—one for overworking an underweight animal and another for failing to provide veterinarian care. The emaciated horse was underweight and had an abscess on its foot. The owner, Melody Robinson claimed the horse, Daisy’s, skeletal condition was due to a tooth infection. “I’m trying to make her situation better. My horses are always fat and the lady I got her from said she had a tooth infection and that’s why she dropped weight,” she told News 2.
Robinson also claimed she has a “secret language” with Daisy and that she was fine to work. “You’re going to know when they’re not feeling well or something is wrong,” she told News 2.
This explanation did not sit well with Harris. “You could count the ribs. It’s not a romantic ride if you’re looking at the back with two bones stick out in the back of a hip, it’s not romantic at all,” she told News 2.
There are governances in place that horse-drawn companies must follow for animal working conditions. One rule states, “Be provided with daily food and water, free from contamination. Such food shall be wholesome, palatable, and of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to meet the normal daily requirements for the condition and size of the animal.”
Harris has continued her mission by reaching out to animal rights activists such as PETA, the ASPCA and the Human Society. She also posted a link to sign a petition against horse drawn carriages in Nashville. She connected with Nashville Mayor Barry’s team who Harris says, “will keep me aware of the situation as the investigation continues.”
To date 112,700 supporters signed the petition toward a goal of 150,000.
Harris vowed on Facebook to not give up for the sake of these abused animals. She wrote, “Metro Animal crews are on site and Inspections are under way. I promise I will stay on top of it! My heart feels so much better! Hugs all AROUND from me and ‘Our Horses!'”