Where was Richard Allen Wheeler {"Horses in Traffic," Jan. 5} when two D.C. carriage horse operators were arrested for cruelty to animals for failing to provide adequate shelter for their four houses {Metro, Dec. 16}? According to Washington Humane Society officials and eyewitnesses, the horses were left on a Southeast concrete parking lot in the cold rain with no protection from the weather. There was not a single amenity, such as straw bedding, to make their lives more comfortable -- just cold, hard concrete. After pulling up to nine people around for 10-12 hours a day in D.C. traffic, that's the thanks those horses get?

Some horses owned by another D.C. carriage operator live under the Southeast expressway. If one hubcap flies off a car or one bottle is thrown, these horses could easily be injured. Is a few people's pleasure worth that?

The "zealots" that Mr. Wheeler refers to are simply working to make people realize that horses are not robots, but intelligent and sensitive beings.

Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty, wrote, "My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt."

D.C. citizens have the power to stop the cruel, needless horse-drawn carriage rides. To do otherwise makes us accomplices to the cruelty.

CAM MacQUEEN Executive Director Committee to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages Inc. Washington