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Added Sep 10 2017

Excited to check out a local street festival, my partner and I walked down to see what it was all about. A stage blasting loud music, a few food stands and and handful of carnival/fair rides.

What surprised and shocked me most was the poor ponies that were being held hostage in a small enclosure providing amusement and rides. Ok -- I know this doesn't seem that bad, but you need to understand the environment in which these poor ponies were subject to.

They were in this small small fenced area being forced to walk in a tight circle for hours and hours providing rides to the few spectators that actually wandered up. Not only were they in a small space, they also had no horse shoes, their poor hooves were cracked, and you could clearly see that they were tired as they lifted their back hooves to an angle trying to alleviate the strain from standing for hours on this asphalt road. It was sad and heartbreaking to see these poor guys standing there in such agony for our mere amusement.

Now, on the other side of Central was a small camel also being exploited for our amusement. This camel was muzzled and, again, forced to walk back and forth on the hard asphalt for hours. I decided to ask the gentlemen who was managing the camel rides about the condition of the ponies and how it wasn't humane that they were being forced to walk in such a small space for hours on asphalt without at least horse shoes to protect hooves. I immediately was greeted a hasty defense and was told it wasn't any of my business what the company name was nor where they were based out of.

I decided to leave it at that and photograph the poor conditions of these animals and document the clear signs of exhaustion.

It's crazy that the city has allowed such a horrid thing to be included as part of the venue. I intend to email the alderman's office and make it clear that this type of entertainment shouldn't be allowed in the future.

  • Atrocious. Thanks for alerting us. Neighborhood festivals should not feature animal abuse.

  • Mute Mute Me

    Please post 8neo 9n who we should contact. The alderman should have access to who those animals belonged to.

  • ChildishPursuits childish pursuits

    I think it is sad and wrong also. However, that neighborhood is an old neighborhood and has its own culture and may figure it out and 'evolve' in time. It's one thing for people to be moving into a neighborhood that was traditionally (previously) an established neighborhood with a particular heritage but maybe not ok to go barreling in and be what may be perceived as critical? Of course it's sad, but maybe do some other community activities, get involved and become a part of the neighborhood first? Sharing an opinion as a neighbor can carry more weight than looking like an interloper. Just some thoughts…

  • Thanks ChildishPursuits! I'm definitely not trying to barge in and change a neighborhoods traditions. My post is purely about the cruel conditions the animals were put in not about actually providing the animal rides. I don't have anything against providing camel and pony rides as long as the animals are being taken care of at the same time.

    I have also lived in the area for over 4 years and have been very involved in community meetings, alderman meetings, and CAPS meetings. Again this isn't about the heritage or neighborhood it is strictly about the abuse of the animals.

  • I've seen a camel and ponies at quite a few street fests in other neighborhoods, so I don't think it's a cultural thing.

  • Mute Mute Me

    If animal abuse is cultural. They need to appropriate as we have laws here. Thank you for speaking for those who can't op

  • Jewels Bungalow owner

    Belmont/Central fest blows- it gets worse every year. I know a couple of vendors that participated the first year and never came back. It used to have a car show, too. This year, they set up without any notice causing a traffic headache. It's sparsely attended, at best. I guess it's for the kids? I felt terrible for those poor animals. I encourage people to contact Alderman Reboyras at ward30@cityofchicago.org.

  • Thank you very much Gerald for speaking out for defenseless animals. We should stop making animal do things for our entertainment.That includes rodeos,circuses and the horrible sport of horse racing. 100's are killed annually for $2bets.I remember a petting zoo at a fest that the pig was so sunburn that it was pink.Still haunts me to this day that I didn't speak up.I was much younger then.Thanks again.If you see a wrong we must speak up.

  • Lava girl future resident

    Animals are victims that cannot speak for themselves. We must be mindful and protect them because they can't.

  • I'll never be your beast of burden.

  • Just because it isn't part of your culture doesn't mean it should be ignored. Part of being members of the human race includes learning from our mistakes and making changes to be more humane and we should be becoming more enlightened not more regressive. If the supplier of the animals felt he was doing the right thing, he would have provided information as to the owner. Please keep us updated, Gerald. We can all contact the alderman. If he can't provide information, he should have to look into the issue.

    Belmont/Central neighbors: wouldn't a Bouncy House be a better choice?

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This was posted to 5600-5699 W. Patterson Ave.

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