Chester has come a long way in a short time. The carriage horse from Depok first became known on the internet earlier this month after a video showing his owner brutally beating him as he lay exhausted on the road sparked anger and outrage amongst Indonesians.
Depok city officials tracked down the driver, who denied whipping Chester at first but later admitted to it while arguing “his whip didn’t directly touch the horse’s body”. Authorities reprimanded the driver but no animal cruelty charges were filed against him and ultimately they said Chester was fit to return to work.
Fortunately, the good people at the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) took it upon themselves to check on Chester as well and speak to his owner about proper horse care. While he was apparently uncooperative, they did get him to agree to give up his horse. And thus, Chester was free.
Last Thursday, Chester was brought to his new home at the Arthayasa Stables & Country Club in Depok. His reaction when he first feels the grass of his new home is… well, let’s just say somebody might have been cutting onions in the room at exactly the same time we were watching it.
JAAN has long been working to improve conditions for delman (carriage horses) by providing them with better veterinary care, holding workshops for owners and getting them properly registered. They also work on many other animal rights issues in Indonesia, such as putting an end to the practice of topeng monyet (dancing monkeys) and dolphin circuses. To find out more about their work and how you can help you can check out www.jakartaanimalaid.com.