Carriage companies in Charleston have formed a new organization promoting and advocating for high-quality horse care in the city.
Charleston Carriage Works, Old South Carriage Company, and Palmetto Carriage Works joined together to form Charleston CARES. The group's acronym stands for "Carriage Association for Responsible Equine Safety."
“The Charleston carriage industry is the best example of animals and people working together to benefit both,” Charleston CARES President Tommy Doyle said.
The group's goal is to provide transparency to people about the treatment of carriage horses in Charleston and to raise awareness of their work so people can understand how much they care about the animals they work with.
“There will be some people out there that we’ll never please, and that’s fine for them," Doyle said. "But I think for the average Charleston citizen, I think the group Charleston cares will be a great source where they can learn more about what we do and how we do it.”
The companies in the association say they're going to come up with a set of standards to follow that exceed necessary animal protection laws to keep the horses as safe and healthy as possible.
“We’ve got about a dozen things that we’re looking at that we’re going to put into place that will exceed the current ordinances,” Doyle said.
He says those new standards will help solidify Charleston’s reputation for animal care.
“Charleston really sets the gold standard now and we’re really looking to take that up to setting the gold standard for the United States,” he said.
Doyle says those new standards should be set within a week.