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Jerry the Horse Dies: His Owner, City Leaders, PETA React

Animal rights groups and city leaders are speaking out Monday night following the death of Jerry the Horse. You’ll remember the carriage horse collapsed two weeks ago in downtown Salt Lake. Jerry passed away on Friday.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH)- Animal rights groups and city leaders are speaking out Monday night following the death of Jerry the Horse. You’ll remember the carriage horse collapsed two weeks ago in downtown Salt Lake. Jerry passed away on Friday.

It didn’t take long for word of Jerry’s passing to spread. It’s only fueled animal right groups to call on a city ban of all carriage rides, but Jerry’s owner is defending the practice and Jerry’s care.

The images of Jerry the Horse collapsed on the ground two weeks ago in downtown Salt Lake have been plastered across television screens and all over social media.

“We took him and kept him comfortable. We tried to get him over this. On Wednesday, he looked like he was going to pull through,” said Carriage for Hire Owner Blaine Overson.

But two days later, on Friday, Jerry passed away. After 25 years in the horse business, Jerry’s owner Blaine Overson says he knew what took the horse’s life.

“We've got a lifetime of knowing when it's colic and our vet knows we know when it's colic and he's been directing us and he's been over to look at him,” said Overson.

But PETA Spokesperson Jeremy Beckham wonders if temperatures peaking triple digits played a role in Jerry’s death.

“I think the heat definitely could have played a role in his collapse on State Street and I think a veterinary report would back us up on that,” said PETA Spokesperson Jeremy Beckham.

Beckham suspects heat exhaustion and says other horses are at risk.

“This tragic evidence of Jerry's death is further evidence that horses don't belong on the streets of Salt Lake City,” said Beckham.

Something City Council Member Charlie Luke says is an option.

“Everything needs to be on the table. Everything from a full ban to maintaining the status quo,” said City Council Member Charlie Luke.

But Jerry’s owner says that’s not the answer.

“It's a real shame because we don’t abuse our horses we don’t try to abuse them or overwork them,” said Overson.

PETA will hold a vigil for Jerry the Horse Tuesday evening at 5pm at State and Fourth South. Luke expects animal rights groups to speak during the public comment section of the city council meeting Tuesday night as well.
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