NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana SPCA said Monday it was seeking to send the remains of a horse that died on Bourbon Street to the LSU animal hospital to learn how it had died.
The horse collapsed Sunday on the most famous street in the French Quarter and SPCA officials were seeking to arrange the transport of the remains from their current location in Kenner to the Louisiana State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Baton Rouge.
The agency wanted to arrange transportation before it called the veterinary hospital, Louisiana SPCA spokeswoman Katherine LeBlanc said. "We've never had any problems getting them to do a necropsy," she said.
The owner kept three horses in Kenner, and said he was taking them for a walk when one of them collapsed Sunday, LeBlanc said. She said he had a small horse cart, big enough for a person or two.
She did not identify the owner, but James Lauga Jr., general manager of Royal Carriages, said he recognized news photographs and footage of the man, and had filed complaints with the city because Steven Chambers often drives his horses in the Quarter, giving rides to children and leaving manure on the streets.
Lauga said 30 carriages are licensed to carry tourists.
"We have diapers we use on our animals to collect the waste. And we clean the streets daily. And maintain the streets. He's out there messing up the sidewalks. He pulls this thing up on the sidewalk," Lauga said.
He said one or two saddled horses often were tethered to the horse cart.
Chambers does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment.
There was no sign that the man was trying to solicit rides in the cart, LeBlanc said.
"It was not for hire," she said.
And, she said, SPCA researchers hadn't been able to find any city ordinances against taking personal horses into the French Quarter.
The City Council has required tourist carriages to be pulled by mules since 1980, when at least two carriage horses died on the street during a sweltering summer.
LeBlanc says the owner took the two live horses and the dead one back to Kenner, which is about 16 miles along the River Road from the French Quarter.
Lauga said the horses were shaggy and dirty, and didn't appear to him to be in the sort of training needed for long rides. But LeBlanc said the inspector was not worried about their safety.
"There was no immediate concern about the welfare of the horses. Otherwise, we would have impounded the other two horses," she said.