Philadelphia: Day for the Animals - City Paper - June 5, 2009


Day for the Animals

Less celebrated critters get their 24 hours of love.

by Lauren Fleming
Published: June 2, 2009

Every dog has its day — but what about the cats, rats, horses and caterpillars? On the nationally recognized Day for the Animals, all of these less celebrated animals will finally get their 24 hours of love, too.

Several events will take place in Philly to honor the day, including a rat festival sponsored by Rat Chick Rat Rescue, and a vigil for the carriage horses that trot daily throughout Old City. Brandon Gittelman, director of media relations for the Pennsylvania chapter of the nonprofit Friends of Animals, which is organizing the vigil, says the protest is meant to raise awareness of the poor treatment of these horses and the hazards they pose to the city.

"We are proposing a ban on horse-drawn carriages because these horses are being forced into a brutal existence of enslavement," says Gittelman. "And not just that, these animals are not naturally intended to live in a city — they are easily frightened and could create some serious problems for city traffic."

The organization suggests that, instead of forcing these animals to entertain out-of-towners, they be housed in sanctuaries.

"When this city was originally established, horse-drawn carriages were a necessary means of transportation," says Gittelman. "But now they're simply used as a tourist attraction, and there's plenty of other things tourists can enjoy."


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