Tragic when you read about it.
Tragic when you see it.
Tragic when nothing is done about it.


Please help us continue working to bring attention to the plight of voiceless carriage animals in Charleston whose care is administered by a For-Profit Tourist Industry. Protect the health and safety of Charleston’s horses by making a contribution today.

We presently have over 25,000 social media followers. We are a growing force. But we can’t do this alone. We need your support.

DONATE NOW to help us get the word out about what is going on! As you can see from the illustrations in the Billboard Campaigns section on this page, our digital and billboard ads are powerful. We need your help to continue to run these ads!

Help us defend ourselves in this sham lawsuit.


Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

-- or --               Please send checks to:
                                   PO BOX 22827
                                   Charleston, SC   29413

Thank you for taking a stand with the horses and mules that pull the heaviest loads and in the most extreme temperatures in the U.S. Together, we can effect change in their inhumane working and living conditions.  

Billboard Campaigns

For the past year, CCHA has been running billboard campaigns throughout Charleston - effectively reaching thousands of visitors and residents each day.



June 6, 2018

Dear Advocates,

Isn’t it always the truth that the Bully in the room is the first to cry victim?

Last week I received a message from a Post and Courier reporter asking me to comment on a lawsuit he had just received from the Charleston Carriage Industry charging Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates and me with Libel, Defamation and Conspiracy!

The Industry seized on their Public Relations ploy to contact every news outlet in Charleston. The media fell for it. The Industry claims are baseless; an attempt to shift the focus away from the real issues of humane treatment of these animals.

Carriage Animals are forced to pull the HEAVIEST Loads in the United States (17 Adults) in the Most EXTREME, searing temperatures in the United States. Congestion is becoming untenable. Charlestonians are forced to endure traffic snarls often involving creeping wagons. 25 Industry Incidents have occurred since 2016!

We are being smeared daily with unthinkable vitriol by Carriage Industry social media posts. At no time will these tactics distract us from our continued advocacy for these animals and our community in Charleston that we represent that cares for them.

We need to fight back NOW. And we need to fight back vigorously.

For animals, for neighbors and for businesses in Charleston.

We need YOU!  We are a local organization and we can’t do this without you.

We need your financial support. Help us hire legal expertise to defend our work and push back against the Carriage Industry’s daily smears, lies and ruthless attacks.

Please make as generous a donation as you are able by clicking here or by sending a check made out to CCHA PO Box 22827 Charleston, SC 29413. ALL donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Thank you for your generous contribution and for supporting Charleston residents’ quality of life and refusing to accept cruelty in plain sight.

Ellen Harley

Board member, Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates


We are having an impact.
We are building momentum.
We want to do more.
We need your help.

We hope to continue to use social media, static billboards, digital ads and print ads to get our message out.


2017 Expenses

Together, we can effect change in the inhumane working and living conditions of carriage horses.


In our first year, CCHA brought worldwide attention to the plight of these animals through our social media posts. In April 2017, Big John collapsed on Meeting Street. Firemen and carriage company employees had to help Big John get up. A bystander’s video was posted to the CCHA Facebook page. Over 13 Million people viewed his struggles on this video. Eleven national media outlets picked up the story, including USA Today. Our Facebook Friends jumped to 14,000.

After two runaway carriage horse incidents, CCHA sponsored a billboard on I-26 depicting a runaway carriage and the tag line, “Better Safe than Sorry”. It has proven to be a powerful image. We have aired hundreds of thousands of Digital Ads, 300,000 of which ran over the holiday week, citing facts about the current Ordinance and asking potential passengers to consider before they purchase a ticket.




Send a completed CARRIAGE HORSE FORMAL COMPLAINT Form to Dan Riccio at



JOIN Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages! 




Write a Letter or make a phone call! 

We welcome you to copy and paste or edit one of the sample letters and send to Mayor Tecklenburg and City Council members: 

Sample Letter #1:

It is time for substantive change in Charleston.  There is nothing charming about the continuing inhumane treatment of Charleston working equines.  It is time to accept your responsibility as an elected official to protect these animals.  The working and living conditions for these voiceless creatures must be improved now.

Sample Letter #2

It is time to take off your blinders and open your eyes to what is going on in Charleston. You can no longer ignore the reality of the plight of the working equines. Conditions under which these animals are forced to work and live such as the Hottest Temperatures and Heaviest Loads in the U.S. are cruel and unacceptable as anyone with common sense knows.  

Sample Letter #3

In 2017 Charleston finally showed the whole world what it still refuses to acknowledge.  There are serious issues with the care and well being of working equines.

Over 14 million people worldwide have read about or watched in disgust the struggle to help Big John, who lay collapsed on Meeting Street in April.  Several months later videos showed 2 runaway carriages with terrified passengers, some of whom were injured. There were numerous other incidents.  With the increased traffic, congestion and construction, the City must honestly ask itself “ Is it safe for equines to be pulling loads of tourists on traffic snarled downtown streets?”

Sample Letter #4

I am writing to you, as an elected official, to express my concern for the inhumane treatment of carriage equines. I do not understand  why The City of Charleston fails to understand  that there is nothing charming about the ongoing inhumane treatment of equines that work the streets of Charleston.

As the world looks on, the image of a Charleston wagon ride has become one of heat exhausted horses barely able to walk, overloaded wagons of people, runaway wagons with terrified passengers, equines collapsed in the streets, cars run into, wagon wheels broken down in the streets, horses falling on icy streets.  Yet the City does nothing . This is not OK and changes need to be made. The City has a responsibility to protect these voiceless animals. The City’s image and its liability are at stake. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to educate the public and advocate for the humane treatment of livestock and animals that work in urban environments.

We serve the Charleston community by providing up-to-date information on the carriage industry and resources needed to report carriage animal incidents and abuse.