Cruel heat ordinance requires FOUR readings of a sizzling 95 degrees before horses can be relieved of the oppressive heat.



Operating in danger of heat distress:

  • The NOAA (the National Oceanographic and Aeronautical Association) Heat Index Chart shows humidity on the side and temperature across the top.

    • Look at 95 degrees on the NOAA Chart. This is the temperature at which the current ordinance requires horses taken off the streets.

    • The humidity is usually very high in Charleston; between 70 to 100% is the typical range.

    • You can see that those temperatures register in the DANGER category. Not Caution. Not Extreme Caution. DANGER.

  • In the course of their work shift, the carriage animals have NO shelter from the direct sun.

  • Unlike humans, carriage animals cannot get out of the heat or get water when they feel the need.

Loophole to keep carriage animals in extreme heat:

  • The new ordinance requires FOUR readings at 95 degrees. If during the FOUR readings the temperature dips even .01 degrees below 95 degrees, readings begin all over again.

Concerns about hiding the temperature

In 2004 - 2006 the city established a subcommittee to look at the issue of the health of the horses that work on the streets of the city of Charleston. A member of the 2006 Committee, distributed the following memo to the committee:

City thermometer located four stories atop a hotel.

  • Where cool breezes blow

  • NOT where horses work

  • NOT at nose level


Charleston should use a Technologically Advanced Thermometer, i.e. WET GLOBE used by OSHA and National Weather Service

  • The WetBulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight, which takes into account: temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover (solar radiation)
    This differs from the heat index, which takes into consideration temperature and humidity and is calculated for shady areas.

  • Wet Globe Thermometer is HAND HELD so can be used at site of working equine.

  • If you work or exercise in direct sunlight, this is a good element to monitor. Military agencies, OSHA and many nations use the WBGT as a guide to managing workload in direct sunlight


If the humidity is more than 75%, heat stress is a likely due to inability to sweat regardless of ambient temperature. (Department of Animal Science, University of Connecticut)

As noted above, the humidity is usually very high in Charleston; between 70 to 100% is the typical range.

Common terms for horse overheating include:

  • Hyperthermia

  • Heat exhaustion

  • Heat cramps

  • Heatstroke

  • Sunstroke