The BC SPCA is investigating four animal owners after seizing 11 starved or neglected horses, including one that was so badly emaciated it had to be euthanized on the spot.

Cruelty investigator Kent Kokoska said the animals were taken from four locations in the Kamloops area over the last 30 days.

Four of the most shockingly malnourished horses were taken to the Kamloops Large Animal Veterinary Clinic, where one was placed in a makeshift sling just to help it stand.

“They’re close to death,” Kokoska told CTV News at the clinic. “The ones you viewed here are a cruelty investigator’s worst day.”

Based on their weight, some of the horses ranked a one on the Henneke horse condition scoring system, meaning they had no fatty tissue and their ribs, vertebrae, and other bones visible.

The SPCA hasn’t released the locations where the horses were seized, but are continuing to investigate the treatment of the animals.

If convicted on cruelty charges, the owners could face fines and up to two years in prison.

With a report form CTV British Columbia’s Kent Molgat