Demand that Rafael and "beasts of burden" receive better treatment

Horses, mules, donkeys and burros are beaten, starved and overworked to the brink of death everyday in towns and villages around the world.  These animals are referred to as 'beasts of burden' and the burdens they bear often make their lives a living hell.  

Rafael, a horse harnessed to a decrepit cart filled with scrap metal, was on his knees in the middle of a busy street in Juarez Mexico.  He was being beaten severely by his owner.  A kind samaritan stopped the man and called police.  Rafael was malnourished with his ribs sticking out from his sides.  He suffered from deep, raw wounds made by both the beating and the harnesses.  The rescuers reported that it took them close to an hour to remove the harness as it was so old and convoluted.  It was clear that the harness had never been removed from the horse and that he was harnessed to the cart day and night.

Horses and animals such as Rafael need protections from vicious treatment by their owners. We demand that a law be implemented in Juarez to protect these animals by requiring adequate nutrition, water, and breaks during their working days.  We demand that humane harnesses be required and that carts be in good working order.  We remind the lawmakers in Juarez that these horse drawn carts are used in the public roads and highways where when poorly functioning, can be a danger to the public.  Just as cars are required to be in good working order to travel the public roads, so should horse drawn carts.   

Finally, horses, mules, donkeys and burros are living, feeling beings who suffer and die at the hands of irresponsible, cruel owners.  Being "beasts of burden" they work their entire lives on behalf of humans and deserve nothing less than what we have demanded in this petition.

For more information about the CAPE Animal Santuary visit:

For more information about Compassion Without Borders visit:

Dear Mayor Alvidrez, Please accept the enclosed petition titled "Demand that Rafael and Beasts of Burden Receive Better Treatment." In 2015 a good Samaritan rescued Rafael, a malnourished horse enduring a severe beating by his owner. The horse was harnessed to a decrepit cart. He was on his knees unable to escape the blows being rained down upon him. After his rescue, he was transported to the CAPE Animal Sanctuary in Grass Valley, California where he lived 10 months until his death this past weekend due to kidney failure.  His kidneys had been weakened by years of dehydration and malnourishment. We hope that you will consider this tragic story and put forward laws to protect these working horses.  Penalties for physical abuse and lack of proper food and water could prevent the type of suffering Rafael endured for so many years.  Thank you for considering our petition request.  Warmly, Shelley Frost, Center for Animal Protection & Education (CAPE)

Update #47 years ago
Very sad news today. After months of struggling to regain health, Rafael has died of kidney failure. His appearance and overall health had been improving month by month, but the horrific treatment he suffered his entire life took its toll. Please continue to share the petition so no more horses have to suffer. RIP Rafael.
Update #38 years ago
Rafael's veterinarian confirmed his kidney disease and prescribed a special diet and feeding schedule. “Rafi's” feet show extreme bruising from years of long hours pulling a decrepit cart on concrete streets. Rafi will forever bear the deep layers of scars on his spine caused by the ropes and chains that imprisoned him. In his new pasture, Rafi’s favorite spot is grazing under the shade of an oak tree. Thank you for helping to bring Rafi back to health:

Update #28 years ago
Rafael, the beaten, starved horse from Mexico, arrived at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary this past Sunday. He is severely malnourished and suffers from kidney disease, but he spends his days slowly exploring his new home. Please donate towards his medical costs and enjoy a video of his arrival: Thank you for signing the petition to help ‘beasts of burden’ like Rafael receive better treatment!
Update #18 years ago
You signed the petition to help free the horse Rafael and 'beasts of burden’ from lives of misery, pulling overloaded, decrepit carts in Juarez, Mexico - thank you! Rafael arrives at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA, Sunday, Sept. 27. He has been recovering from years of abuse, starvation and hard labor. He is suffering from kidney disease but he has a will to live. Follow Rafael's journey: Donate to his care:
Thank you!
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