Gazelle’s Take on the Whaling City Festival Horse
I'm no expert, but "Jackson" the Clydesdale Horse at the New Bedford Whaling City is a healthy looking horse.There's a rumor going around online that Jackson appears mistreated and malnourished. People are claiming that his hooves and ankles are bruised, beaten and raw (apparently from shackles). Of course, whenever the circus is in town, there's always going to be a group of animal activist protesting their opinions on the treatment of circus animals and they have every right to. We are all entitled to our own opinions.
Now, normally I stay away from this subject for good reasons:
1.) I enjoy going to the circus, I find it highly entertaining.
2.) I have yet to see any visible proof of animal cruelty to my naked eye (meaning in person).
3.) I love all animals, always have.
4.) I simply don't have the energy to argue with people about the subject.
5.) I don't believe everything I see on the internet, there's a lot of #FakeNews out there.
First thing's first.... I had a wonderful time at the circus and the fair. I was granted a special VIP access to hang out with the animals before the show started, where I was able to pet and feed them. To my surprise, they were extremely friendly and even the camels cuddled up on me (truly a magical moment).
As I petted Jackson, I was told by the circus's animal caretaker that the fur around his hooves is shaved in the summertime for comfort. It's hot for the horses so they shave (cautiously) the hair around the ankles to cool off the horse a bit. The "raw" pink looking stuff in the photo below that had one person outraged.... yeah, that's called skin. It's completely normal. There were no visible signs of scarring, bruising or abuse.
As far as the surrounding environment of Jackson and the other animals, I noticed the caretakers cleaned up the animal feces multiple times while I was there, leaving them with a clean area to walk around. Their water bowls were constantly refilled and topped off and there was plenty of hay for the animals to eat.
A Fun 107 listener (I will leave anonymous) sent Fun 107 a photo with concern about the horse's health and claimed it was malnourished (see below):
That's not what I saw at all. The horse I saw looked healthy and well-fed. Again, I'm no expert, but.... (see below):
To conclude this opinioned observation, I called in the big guns and got the New Bedford Police and Animal Control involved. Here's what they had to say after investigating the situation:
" Regarding the horse, a resident raised a question, a vet was brought in and is treating the horse for some minor teeth issues and for issues with one of his hooves...The horse is 13, has been pulled out of the circus for now and was not in any way mistreated, abused or neglected..." -Community Relations Specialist, Sandra Quadros Bowles
Bowles further commented stating this:
"The ASPCA and state agricultural department were called in but handed the issue over to our ACO...Manny told me he is continuing to check in with the horse...the circus is completely cooperating..."