On November 3, Sissi officially retired after 17 years of loyal service to her carriage driver. A couple of veterinarians from the Eastern Townships took her in, thanks to the Placement program for former Montreal carriage horses set up by the SPCA, the City of Montreal and Galahad.
Sissi has gradually gotten used to her new environment. At first, she’d go out just a few hours at a time and always with a human friend who would comfort her and ensure a smooth transition for her. It didn’t take her long to feel at home and make the most of the snow piling up on the ground!
A story of friendship
In time, Sissi became friends with Peggy, a miniature pony! “We have eight horses here. Sissi is the biggest and she befriended the smallest!” said her adoptive family, laughing. The two buddies like to stroll around the large pasture. They sometimes interact with the other horses, but it would seem that these two share a special connection! Sissi also gets along well with humans and is curious about everyone, including children and even dogs and chickens.
Making the most of the wide-open, natural spaces alongside her friend Peggy, Sissi continues to adapt to her new environment. Despite her 22 years of age, she is still full of life and quite the glutton: she never resists an apple or carrot treat! Sissi’s former owner, Denis Murray, is still part of her life. He has already visited her in the Eastern Townships and regularly asks for news of her from her adoptive family, who is happy to send pictures. We would like to thank him warmly for his trust.
A successful retirement
Offering retirements to horses who have worked their entire lives is not an easy task. Thanks to the Placement Program for Former Montreal Carriage Horses, each animal is paired with a knowledgeable and devoted adoptive family who will provide them with everything they need on a daily basis to adapt to their new realities. The horses must be offered specific exercises, adequate facilities and a gentle touch. This is why we work closely with our partner Galahad, an association specialized in placing horses, including animals with special needs.
The first retirement under this initiative has proven to be a great success. We couldn’t have hoped for a better experience. In operation until April 30, 2021, the program offers a peaceful retirement to horses who have worked in the city. It stems from the ban on horse-drawn carriages in Montreal, in effect as of December 31, 2019.
We wish Sissi a very happy retirement and hope that other carriage-horse owners will enroll their animals in our placement program so that they too may get the peaceful retirement they deserve.