A Canadian veterinarian has been found guilty of animal cruelty in relation to six horses in his care.
Mark Marohn, of Langley, was found guilty in a British Columbia provincial court under both the Criminal Code of Canada and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
His prosecution resulted after the British Columbia SPCA discovered six horses which they described as emaciated and neglected in his care.
In December 2008, BC SPCA cruelty investigators were called to the 2000-block of 208th Avenue in Langley, where a seven-year-old gelding was tethered to Marohn’s sedan and was being used to pull the car from a ditch.
The young horse, which the non-profit group said was severely emaciated, exhausted and unable to stand, was in critical distress and had to be humanely euthanized at the scene.
“It was terribly upsetting for all the investigators involved,” SPCA senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever said.
“We thought he might have a chance when he tried to stand a couple of times but he just couldn’t muster the strength.”
That same day BC SPCA investigators discovered another five horses on Marohn’s property and took them into care.
It said the horses were also emaciated, and despite around-the-clock care and veterinary treatment, one died four days later.
The surviving four horses – Jock, Chewy, Lexi and Misty – underwent months of rehabilitation and treatment while in SPCA care and were adopted into loving homes in May 2009.
Marohn was originally charged over the care of the horses in April 2009.
Marohn is scheduled to be sentenced in May and could face a sentence of up to five years in jail, a maximum fine of $C5000 fine, and a prohibition on owning animals.