The BC SPCA has seized a herd of 10 horses from a property in Grand Forks, including two that were in such bad shape they had to be put down.

Animal protection officer Shawn Eccles said the remaining animals are being cared for outside Vancouver at a location the SPCA is keeping secret.

“The horses that were seized were all below body condition score of two, which would mean emaciated,” he said. “And [there was] just no access to shelter, and that was the real concern.”

It’s believed that up to 70 horses were at the property, but most were gone when the SPCA arrived at the scene.

“It looks like some of the animals probably were moved. We are continuing to investigate,” Eccles said.

The condition of the other animals is unknown.

The horses’ owner, Kevin LaFond, said he received the horses in the same condition they were in when the SPCA seized them, and denies any suggestion he neglected them.

He said he regularly takes in horses in need of rehabilitation and helps them.

“I buy and sell horses as part of my living,” LaFond said.

The owner has upset some horse lovers in the area by selling the animals for meat, but he said it’s only happened a few times, and always with “cripples or horses that are dangerous.”

The SPCA said it in considering recommending charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act as well as the Criminal Code.

News of the investigation came just over a week after the SPCA revealed it had seized 11 starved or neglected horses from four animal owners in the Kamloops area.

One had to be euthanized while the others are being cared for.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Kent Molgat