PRINCE GEORGE, B.C - Animal cruelty charges are being recommended against the owner of two horses who were trapped in the snow in central B.C. last month and were rescued after volunteers dug a one-kilometre trench to reach them.

The B.C. SPCA has submitted a report to Crown counsel in Prince George recommending charges against the owner, saying he abandoned the animals near the town of McBride.

Snowmobilers discovered the starving horses trapped on the side of Mount Renshaw in late December and brought them feed and blankets while volunteers started digging a trench in the snow.

It took them a week to open up a pathway and the horses were finally led to safety two days before Christmas.

SPCA chief animal protection officer Shawn Eccles says the horses are getting excellent care in their foster homes and won't be returned to the owner, Frank McKay of Edmonton.

McKay has said he was delivering supplies to hikers on Mount Renshaw in September when he became separated from the animals and when he finally tracked them down he couldn't get them out of the snow.