In just two days, Villeneuve’s disturbing video had already racked up nearly 5,000 likes and almost 20,000 shares, inspiring debate from Facebook commenters. However, this was no isolated incident, explains Mirella Colalillo, a spokesperson for the Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition, a grassroots movement based in Montreal. “This summer has been the worst by far. There have been so many horses underweight, injured and showing signs of distress, that we are heartbroken and feel helpless,” Colalillo told The Dodo.
“The horse drivers and owners would like us to believe that Cocotte fell asleep, but horses sleep standing, they don't drop unconscious,” Colalillo explained. “The truth is that she is exhausted, like all the calèche horses. After working nine hours they return to a makeshift stable, where they are locked up in a dirty stall with no room to lie down. This is not the kind of life a horse deserves.”