Carriage horses and mules are pulling app. 2 ½ TONS every hour of every day in Charleston. The streets are teeming with tourists hanging out of car windows, ignoring traffic lights and loudly announcing their revelry. Full-steam ahead for Charleston becoming a look-alike to big sprawling cities like Charlotte and Atlanta as apartment and office building construction loom over a once quiet small city.

A perfect environment for prey animals to spook? Since 2016 this City has seen over 120 carriage-related accidents/incidents. Children, adult passengers and wagon drivers have been injured; horses and mules have been injured. One beautiful, young horse was euthanized last summer after his half-hitched wagon struck his leg causing severe bleeding, and critically injuring him.

And the heat?

95 degrees measured FOUR times atop a hotel before horses and mules are allowed a reprieve from the steamy asphalt. According to NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association) 95 degrees is in the Extreme Danger category. But profits seem to trump humane treatment of horses and mules in this town.

In fact, the heat is so intense here in Charleston, that the City of Charleston will be under the microscope this summer in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study on urban heat mapping. The study aims to identify areas of improvement for cities hoping to reduce the impact of heat stress on their citizens.

We think it will be increasingly difficult for City Council to continue to protect the inhumane heat ordinance with data from the NOAA and CDC study. One thing is for sure; Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates will be watching. We are already planning a strategy to use this data to lower the temperature in which these animals are forced to work.

Are you interested in helping turn up the heat on City Council? Tourist wagons are filled to capacity and the steam is rising from the asphalt.


A monthly contribution of $20; a one-time contribution of $36 will put City Council in the hot seat. It’s past time.