Horse drawn carriage company faces backlash on social media after photos surfaced online

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 18:49:25-04

The Cleveland Animal Protective League has launched an investigation into the treatment of a downtown carriage horse after photos and video surfaced online of the injured horse collapsing on the ground in the Flats Saturday night. 

Inspectors say they are investigating the welfare of the horse from Shamrock Carriages. 

The photos were posted by a woman who witnessed the horse struggling up a street in the Flats on Saturday night, prompting her and a few bystanders to intervene.

The woman, Evie Grabski, described the entire encounter on her Facebook page.

In her post, she said the horse was "forced to go down a very steep slippery brick hill with heavy traffic and collapsed slid and hit a car."

She described the horse as "clearly terrified because he kept peeing everywhere and was so exhausted."

In her Facebook post, Grabski said she and a couple bystanders took the carriage off the horse in an effort to calm the horse down. 

Grabski said the owner would not completely unlatch the horse from the carriage. The horse was spooked and attempted to run away, not knowing it was still attached to the carriage.

The horse dragged her friend across the street before slamming her friend into a cement pillar and then collapsing in the street, according to Grabski's Facebook post.

Grabski along with the help from other civilians, tried to get the horse up to avoid getting hit by a car.

They had to put car mats under the horse's hooves because the brick road was slippery.

The horse got up and ran down the street. Once the driver got ahold of the horse, he took the horse back up the same steep road, according to Grabski.

We spoke with Shamrock Carriages manager Jimmy Coppola who tells us he understands why people are outraged.

"I want you to know we love these guys. We take great care of them" said Coppola.

Coppola says a vet has been by to see Fredo, the horse.

"The vet told us to give him a couple of days off and he is actually okay to work again," Coppola said. "We are actually going to put him out on a farm, but he'll be okay in 2 days.

Coppola says they have launched their own internal investigation into what has happened. The driver will sit out during this time.