Three horses have been rescued in Pennsylvania from ramshackle stables, where they were being boarded.
On Tuesday, humane law enforcement officers with the Pennsylvania SPCA seized the horses and closed the stable at 11th Street and Allegheny Avenue, which it maintained was illegal. A fourth dead horse was also removed from the property.
The Pennsylvania SPCA has been investigating the stable operation for several weeks.
The owner of the property was illegally renting out stall space to a number of individuals, it said.
The horses were being kept in a series of ramshackle structures. In the past year, the society rescued two emaciated horses and two deceased horses from the lot and ordered the owner to cease operations and remove all animals.
In defiance of the order, horses remained on the premises and additional horses were brought there within the last week.
The SPCA obtained a search warrant to remove the remaining horses.
The horses were examined at its headquarters, after which they were to be transferred to the Danville Branch of the Pennsylvania SPCA or to a rescue group.
The dead animal was to undergo a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
The Pennsylvania SPCA said it anticipated charging both the owner of the property and the owner of the dead horse with animal cruelty charges, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Because there are no ordinances prohibiting the ownership of horses in the city, this is common problem we face,” said George Bengal, director of humane law enforcement at The Pennsylvania SPCA.
“Unfortunately, these animals often end up suffering from cruelty and neglect because they are not kept in conditions conducive to their needs.”