CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A carriage horse in downtown Charleston was “humanely euthanized at the recommendation of a veterinarian” on Sunday, after taking off unattended.
Although no injuries or damages to the public were reported, the horse, named Ervin, sustained significant injuries to his legs during the ordeal.
Old South Carriage Company said that “the collaborating veterinarians determined surgery was not an option.”
Ervin had been with Old South Carriage Company since 2018. The organization says that they are devastated by the loss, as “the safety of [their] animals, customers, and neighbors has always been a top priority.”
They added that they are “currently assessing [their] procedures and protocol to ensure the safety of [the] horses.”
The Charleston Animal Society issued a statement reading in part:
“Using horses in an urban environment continues to be controversial. Charleston Animal Society has never called for a ban, rather a peer-reviewed, prospective, scientific study to inform community leaders of the working conditions of these animals. The carriage industry and its supporters have fought this reasonable compromise from the outset. Rather than coming to the table, our supporters have been physically assaulted and now we have been engaged in a two-year lawsuit aimed at silencing us and our advocacy for these animals. It is time to revisit this cruel enterprise that has caused the needless deaths of both humans and equines.”
Editor’s note: this story has been updated with additional information regarding the circumstances of Ervin’s death and a quote from the Charleston Animal Society.