SALT LAKE CITY -- A business owner who provides horse-drawn carriage rides in Salt Lake City has apologized for sending out a misleading photo after one of her horses collapsed near Temple Square on Aug. 17.
Annette Overson of Carriage for Hire admits she publicly released a photo of a different horse last week and not of the 13-year-old horse named Jerry that collapsed while pulling a carriage.
Though the photo's release to The Salt Lake Tribune was designed to ease concerns over Jerry's condition, Overson said she now realizes sending the wrong picture was a "stupid mistake."
"It wasn't the right horse and I shouldn't have done it. It was wrong," she told KTVX-TV.
Overson insisted Jerry is alive and well after being treated for colic, an abdominal pain that can cause serious and sometimes deadly problems. But she declined to comment on where the animal is being housed, saying her company has been besieged by threats.
Overson's apology came a day after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activists raised questions about the photo and Jerry's condition. The animal-welfare organization also is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to Jerry's whereabouts.
PETA spokesman Jeremy Beckham said he believes there's a possibility Jerry may have died and his group just wants to make sure he's OK.
"I hate to say it, but this company has demonstrated they can't really be trusted," he said. "They've owned up to the fact that they've lied to the media and I think they deserve a little extra scrutiny."