535 SIGNATURES
GOAL: 1,000 signatures

On April 16, 2024 at the Dallas City Council's Quality of Life, Arts, & Culture Committee hearing, the committee members discussed banning these outdated and dangerous rides. They voted 6-1 to ban walk-up, horse-drawn carriage rides in Dallas, and the recommendation will now be heard and briefed before the Mayor and the entire Dallas City Council in the near future.  

Why a ban on horse-drawn carriages?

It is time to end the use of horse carriages in urban settings such as downtown Dallas. Horse carriages put horses as well as humans at risk. Street traffic, the sounds of horns and misfired mufflers, and unfamiliar objects on the road can cause a horse to spook. Risks such as these are among the many factors why we are advocating to ban horse-drawn carriage rides in Dallas. Punishing heat waves the last few summers have brought the practice's cruelty to light as horses are forced to pull carriages in up to ninety-nine-degree heat under the current ordinance.

Photo Courtesy of Gloria, Dallas Culture Map

Horse-Drawn Carriages: Public Safety Concern

Horse-drawn carriage bans have become more popular in Texas cities over the last few years due to public safety concerns given the narrow streets, the large number of tourists, loud noises and the horse’s nature which is skittish in nature. The city of Denton banned horse-drawn carriages because of their narrow streets and the concern for accidents with horses, cars, and tourists. 

There have been numerous horse carriage-related accidents. These incidents have caused serious injuries to drivers, horses, customers, and passers-by.

  • December 14, 2019, Highland Park, Texas: A driver reported that he was attempting to get between two parked cars when a horse-drawn carriage carrying eight to 10 people tried to do the same and they struck each other. In a separate incident, a woman reported that two horses pulling a carriage took off running and slammed into a concrete wall.

  • May 10, 2018, Abilene, Texas: A carriage driver was injured after a motorcycle reportedly startled the horses pulling the carriage, causing them to run off the road. The driver was thrown to the street and taken to the hospital.

  • January 9, 2018, Bandera, Texas: The operator of a new horse-drawn carriage service was killed when an SUV crashed into her rig. The horse also died, and a passenger was treated for injuries. One of the horses reportedly sustained a fractured skull and a broken back.

  • December 2015, Highland Park, Texas: Two people were thrown out of a carriage after the horses took off down the street during holiday rides.

  • March 27, 2015, McKinney, Texas: One horse broke a leg, and another sustained a shoulder injury after a car clipped the animals, who were pulling a carriage, sending both horses crashing into a parked truck. The carriage was being operated by the Happy Trails Carriage Service.

  • December 28, 2014, Dallas, Texas: Two passengers were injured after being tossed out of a carriage after the horse got spooked by a horn. The horse was also injured, and the carriage was seriously damaged.

 

Horse-Drawn Carriages: Inhumane Treatment of Horses

Concerned Dallas citizens have witnessed (1) horses being harassed /agitated by inebriated restaurant and bar patrons, unattended children and young teens; (2) horses traveling in the wrong direction down wrong-way streets, running red lights, and not obeying traffic laws; and (3) horses working in extreme conditions (over 99° degrees, loud populated city areas, and even working in Rideshare Zones - near across from Kyle Warren Park).

Horse-drawn carriages working in a chaotic, urban Dallas environment is the result of many incidents that detail the very real dangers of slow, 1000+ pound prey animals forced to work alongside loud and fast motor vehicles in big cities. According to some equine experts, after looking at the photographs of the horses, they opine that the horses do not look in great shape.  The horses’ sink in sides at the flank area is usually an indication of needing water. One of the photographs indicates the black horse‘s front leg is swollen, possibly cut, and the horse is really drawn and thin, and the Belgian horse’s hip bones are a little protruded.

Join us in advocating for the well-being of horses and the safety of our community by signing our petition.

 

City of Dallas residents only.

 

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