Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Boncek/Charleston City Paper
Things are about to get pretty interesting this Saturday in the City Market area. Animal-rights activists will be marching for Charleston’s carriage horses, calling for “more humane treatment.” The march will start at 11 a.m. at the U.S. Custom House on East Bay and Market Street and will proceed onto North Market and South Market street.
But here’s the kicker: three carriage companies are standing up to these activists and inviting anyone and everyone into their stables at the same time as the march to see just how well they treat their animals. The open houses will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday, August 5 so people can see the behind the scenes of the carriage-tour industry and just how well the animals are looked after. And to prove once and for all these activist claims of inhumane treatment are completely false and unfounded.
Old South Carriage Company, Palmetto Carriage Works and Charleston Carriage Works will all raise money for H.O.P.E Acres Rescue, a certified 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization located in Summerville whose mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and provide a safe haven for equines in need, to live out a healthy, happy, and peaceful life through public education, county and state alliances, adoptions, donations and caring volunteers. Each carriage company will donate $1 from each carriage-tour ticket on Saturday to H.O.P.E Acres Rescue.
The overall health and wellbeing of carriage horses has been a huge topic of debate in Charleston and carriage companies are working hard to show how much they care for their animals. By hosting community outreach programs where customers are able to interact with the horses and see their living conditions first hand, the companies hope it will expose their true humane practices. Their goal for the event Saturday is to educate others and support the real needs of horses who have suffered abuse.
A lot more good can be done by donating to organizations like H.O.P.E Acres Rescue instead of marching and protesting up and down streets. It is important that people look into all the facts of the carriage rides and don’t get caught up in the far-fetched views of animal-activists. The best way to educate yourself on the topic would be to go down to the carriage company barns and see the horses and the way they are treated for yourself. You’ll even get a glimpse into the everyday routine of the massive four-legged friends.