Stop Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides


Should horse-drawn carriage rides be working in Chicago? On WGN Radio’s Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show listen here as I talk with Jodie Wiederkerhr of Chicago Alliance for Animals about the possibility and hopefully likelihood of banning the horse-drawn carriage rides in Chicago.

Jodie Wiederkerhr

For several years Wiederkerhr and other volunteers are have documented example after example of operators skirting the law. And the welfare of the horses clearly suffers.

For examples, horses too frequently work too many hours, work when it is too hot, work without water, and just days ago a horse working with open sores. That horse was also lame.

If operators adhered to the Chicago ordinance then just maybe they should continue. The problem is that routinely the ordinance is ignored. 

So, as a result Wiederkerhr and the Chicago Alliance for Animals suggest banning the carriages. If you agree, contact your Alderman, and also Mayor’s Lightfoot office.

And if you don’t believe Wiederkerhr, there are numerous videos, which the Chicago Alliance for Animals shares with the public, including this one, where there’s no water for the horses.

Coyotes Not So Wild

I tell the story on WGN of Tomi Tranchita and her coyotes. She rescued and saved four baby coyotes, but they couldn’t be released into the woods both because they became tame and there are no woods to introduce them into. She she kept the coyotes. You can’t just keep coyotes, though. You need permits, and to follow certain protocols and to – of course – provide lots of enrichment, the right diet and veterinary care. She did all of that for 13 years, with approval of the Illinois and U.S. Departments of Agriculture. No issues whatsoever.

But then one day – without warning – the  Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) shows up brandishing guns, as if Tranchita was a murderer. They alleged that she was missing a state license , a $25 permit which she merely didn’t renew. No one had sent a reminder for her to renew. It also turns out others are given a chance to renew if they forget. But not Tranchita.

Tranchita asked for some time to ask her trained coyotes to go into their crates. Instead IDNR officers with Cook County Animal Control terrorized the animals – who had previously only known trust from humans. IDNR officers joked about what they were doing, calling dead coyotes better than living coyotes. And shot them point-blank with tranquilizer guns.

Subsequently, three of the coyotes died.

No doubt the way which they were captured had something to do with their death. Tranchita said they were perfectly healthy before being confiscated.

Her tame coyotes were killed for no reason. And thus far no one is doing anything about it.  How can this be allowed to happen? This should be a crime. This is a crime. Just because coyotes aren’t domestic pets doesn’t mean they have no value.


A fourth coyote, named Luna, is alive but not well.

Clearly depressed, Luna is at least eating, but not really living life….She barely moves, and even lies in her own excrement. For the first time in her life is living alone. She may also be ill.

At the very least, Tranchita is hoping Luna returns to her home to live out her life. Even if Tranchita missed renewing a $25 permit, the coyotes should never have paid with their lives for what was an innocent mistake. Why can’t Luna simply live our her life in Tranchita’s care? No one ever questioned her care.

IDNR now tells the court – which oddly refuses to allow the coyote to return to Tranchita – that she also required a Hound Running Permit – whatever this antiquated permit is about. Besides, other facilities with coyotes have no such permit. In fact, some facilities don’t even have the $25 permit she failed to renew.

A part of the IDNR mission is supposed to be to educate humane care of animals. That’s clearly a joke! After all, this is the same group that supports bobcat and also coyote hunting. And why is our tax money supporting IDNR?

Sign this petition urging Illinois Governor Pritzker to intervene; stop Luna’s suffering and send her home where she belongs.

How humane is your state representative or state senator? If you live in Illinois contact your state senator and state representative.

Here’s a link to a petition with about 30,000 signatures – please add yours.

Or donate to Toni’s Go fund Me, Bringlunathecoyotehome.

Tranchita’s YouTube page, first set up about peaceful coexistence with coyotes tells the story. Co-existence apparently isn’t possible when violent humans are involved.  These coyotes did nothing wrong, and by all accounts, Tranchita didn’t either. If she needed additional licensing she was never told.

As a side note, to demonstrate what Tranchita is all about, while going to the parking lot where WGN Radio is located, she came across a stray cat. She was able to catch the cat who, for now, she took home.

HEAR Tranchita describe it all, in her own words, on WGN Radio.