This morning, Mayor Bloomberg declared a "weather emergency" after 19 inches of snow fell in NYC. He stated, "Clearing the streets remains our number one job - and to do that, motorists should please, please refrain from driving."
So when I received Elizabeth Forel's email (see below) stating that carriage drivers were out on the streets, I wondered how the ASPCA could have possibly allowed them to leave their buildings this morning, given the Mayor's announcement, the dangerous conditions, and the law, which clearly states that horses should not be working under these conditions.
At 3:45 p.m., I went up to 59th St. As soon as I emerged from the subway, I saw a carriage driver unloading one group of tourists from his carriage and reloading it with another. I also saw the water trough in Grand Army Plaza buried under snow.
I called the ASPCA and asked if the carriage drivers were allowed to be working today. The agent assured me that they were not. I informed her that I was standing right next to one. She said that she would send an officer.
In spite of five solid years of activism by many animal advocacy organizations and individuals, conditions for the carriage horses appear to be just as bad now as ever before. And, instead of using their considerable power and influence to ban horse and buggies from midtown, the ASPCA continues to enable it:
See you in the streets.
But the good news is that at least we have an unenforceable tethering bill!