The records, which included cases of children being injured and terrified horses running unrestrained down New York streets, cast an understandably harsh glare on the carriage industry. Less than a year later, another animal welfare group, Last Chance for Animals, published even more disturbing allegations in an undercover video.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, at least nine carriage horses have died in New York City since 2006, some under particularly gruesome circumstances.
And yet, despite countless cases of carriage horses - and humans - in peril, the horse-drawn carriage remains a stark fixture on the urban landscape.
For their part, carriage horse operators, who are independent contractors, have long maintained the horses are treated humanely.
"We buy these horses from the Amish by the pound," a carriage driver told The New York Post in 2014. "If not for us they would be dog food and glue. The horses get better health care and more vacation than we do."