SPCA rescues caleche horses
Two caleche horses have been rescued by the SPCA from their alleged abuser.
Director Alanna Devine says the animal shelter received a call from Montreal Police last Sunday.
"According to witnesses, a horse had collapsed on the way back to the stable, and the driver of the horse had kicked the horse while he was still on the ground."
The owner of the Griffintown carriage house surrendered Blackjack and Captain Bob, the two 20-year old horses, who are being treated for their injuries.
They're currently recovering on a farm in foster care and as soon they're medically fit, the SPCA will begin looking for a permanent retirement home, where they can spend the rest of their time in comfortable, country surroundings.
Devine says the SPCA has heard over the years a lot of allegations of acts of cruelty towards horses.
She says "the biggest concern is the neglect, or conditions these horses are forced to live and work in. They're living in a dilapidated old building, the bylaw from the City of Montreal permits them to work 9 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When they're not working they're attached to small stalls, where they can't move around or express any natural behaviour, and they're exposed to loud noises, pollution, and generally when they can no longer work, they're sent to auction or slaughter."
Devine says "this really brings up not only the concern over these two particular horses, but this industry in general in the city of Montreal, and what all these horses are forced to endure during their time working as carriage horses."
The SPCA believes that caleche horses do not belong in an urban environment. "When you have traffic and cars, and loud noises, horses are prone to spooking, so they can't be trained to not be fearful of unexpected noises, which is why we've heard over the years a lot of cases of accidents."
Devine adds "It's dangerous for the horses, the drivers and tourists, so we certainly would like to see Montreal go the way of Toronto, and find an alternative, humaine way to attract tourists for sightseeing, without having to have these horses endure what they're living through every day."