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Jerry the Salt Lake City carriage horse on the road to recovery

Published August 21, 2013 5:21 pm

Animals • Carriages for Hire releases photo, taken Wednesday, of Jerry up on his hooves.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

After a veterinary checkup Wednesday, the owners of Jerry the carriage horse said is he recovering from a bout with colic that caused him to collapse while at work Saturday.

"He's showing good signs," said Annette Overson, co-owner of Carriages for Hire. The company has not set a date for when Jerry will return to work, instead giving him time for some "R&R," Overson said.

A sudden bout of colic caused the 13-year-old horse to collapse at South Temple and State Street on Saturday afternoon. South Mountain Equine veterinarian Lyle Barbour, who is not treating Jerry, said colic usually strikes suddenly in horses and, most of the time, nothing can be done to prevent it.

There is nothing that the company could have done, Overson said.

Salt Lake County Animal Services spokesman Don Porter said Tuesday that officers found no violations of city ordinance or policy after investigating the incident and visiting Jerry and his owners.

But the Humane Society of Utah would rather Jerry not return to work. The organization is calling for carriage horses to be removed from city streets.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Humane Society asserted that horses working in the city risk overheating on hot asphalt, endure loud noises, breathe exhaust fumes and, in winter, are forced to labor in frigid, inclement weather for several hours a day. The practice puts both horses and people at risk, according to the release.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also alleges that the day's heat — which hit 97 at its peak, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City — contributed to Jerry's collapse.

Overson counters that the horse fell at about 1:30 p.m., before temperatures reach their daily high, and that it was about 90 degrees at the time.

Eighty percent of the outfit's stock are rescued animals, and the horses are like family to the employees, an official said Monday.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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