You don't hear much about it now, but a couple of months ago people could not stop talking about Montreal's calèche horses.
A video surfaced where a runaway horse was accidentally hit by a car, and that seemed to have sparked the calèche horse debate once again.
Ultimately it lead to calèche horses being banned in Montreal. But when the calèche drivers protested, the ban was lifted and no one really talked about it after that.
Now, there's even talk in city hall about building some kind of centralized horse stable which means this cruel practice could potentially continue for years.
Montreals' Anti-calèche Defense Coalition posted a report yesterday to show what really happens to the calèche horses when they can no longer work.
As it turns out, 16 horses have died in Montreal since 2009.
Here are a few of their stories:
Jolly was a 30 year old male who was euthanized when he got too old to stand up.
Silver was diagnosed with cancer, so he was pulled out of his box by his tail and killed. When his body wouldn't fit in the trailer, he had his leg broken with a hammer. His tail was cut off to be sold for violin strings and his body was left to rot in the sun for 3 days.
Teddybear was too big for his narrow box, so he was moved to a box outside in the middle of winter. When the horse tried to lie down, he got stuck in the ice and he was whipped to force him to stand up. They poured hot water to free him, but when he got up, bits of his skin stayed stuck in the ice. He was euthanized after they discovered he had an internal hemorrhage.
Coco was forced to work until the day he died despite having a bad limp.
Budweiser hated traffic and became very anxious near cars, so he was given medication and was forced to continue working. His foot was run over by a Bobcat truck and the owner claimed it would heal on its own so he never achieved medical care and was left to suffer for months.
These are just a few of the horrifying storied uncovered by the Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition. We have this idea that the horses are loved and treated like we would treat our own pets. But the truth is, they are treated like equipment.
If you would like to help end the suffering don't be ignore the issue. If you see any horses being abused or working in poor condition, take a picture or video of the number of the calèche, the horse the driver and the horse's ID.
If you would like to file a complaint you can do so directly on the Government of Quebec' Website.