Carriage horse company in Philadelphia appeals citations detailing harsh conditions

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Philadelphia Carriage Horse Company appeals citations detailing harsh conditions: Annie McCormick reports on Action News at 11 p.m., Sept. 26, 2017 (WPVI)

Every day on Independence Mall you can see the multiple carriage horse companies carting tourists through the city.

But now, one of those groups - The Philadelphia Carriage Company - stands accused of scathing violations.

The company received a "Final Notice and Intent to Cease Operations" letter in August, but this week it filed an appeal.

"When you go into the stable and you see some of the conditions it's really heart wrenching," said Councilman Mark Squilla.

At the urging of local animal advocates, Squilla went to the North 13th Street stables in June along with the Animal Care and Control Team, a veterinarian, and the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

The city violations highlight the conditions, noting three of the nine horses are below the minimum body condition.

It lists the horses by name: Sammy, Tucker and Butterscotch, saying they must not work until cleared by a veterinarian.

The conditions of the stables, that hold up to 11 horses, are also targeted by the Department of Licenses and Inspections. L&I details poor ventilation in the facility and not enough room for the horses to turn around and lie down.

"The horses are still working," said Squilla. "The concern is are they being turned properly? Are they being exercised? Are conditions still really bad in the stable?"

Squilla said while it is daunting, they have to follow the law. That means until an October 24 hearing, the company can still operate.

"Sometimes it feels like it takes so long to get the end result," said Squilla. "But I believe if we can do this in a way to look for the safety of the horses as the end goal, then I think we did the right thing."

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