Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Life and Death of Juliet

The death in September 2006 of Juliet has yet to be fully explained. The carriage horse died under mysterious circumstances that had prompted an investigation into the cause. After she collapsed, her owner, Antonio Provenzano, was seen striking her with a thin whip in an effort to get her back on her feet. Mr. Provenzano said he was acting on telephone orders from a veterinarian (perhaps on the assumption that the horse had colic, a scenario in which the horse would be better to stand up) and continued whipping his horse, even as onlookers yelled at him to stop. A police officer ordered Mr. Provenzano to stop the beating. However, mounted unit officers who arrived at the scene allowed him to continue whipping the horse. Employees of a hotel eventually came to the scene with a rug, on which Juliet was placed. She was then dragged into a police trailer and taken to West Side Livery Stables, where at 5 a.m. she died following several hours of treatment. A necropsy was ordered to determine why and how Juliet died. Mr. Provenzano and others had suggested that Juliet had collapsed from a heart attack, or perhaps colic. Notably, colic can be deadly in a horse and most cases require veterinary treatment.

Mr. Provenzano has moved on. Now he drives Benny. Hey, it's a job.

Read "For Central Park Carriage Horse, Death Arrives Inelegantly" (New York Times. Sept 16, 2006)
Read "A Life and Death Without Dignity" on the Friends of Animals Web site (Sept. 19, 2006)

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