Two horses were found next to a vacant lot near the intersection of 7th and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia on Wednesday morning.
The SPCA told NBC10 it received a call about the horses a few days ago, but when investigators arrived, the horses were gone.
The SPCA received another call about the animals on Wednsday morning and when they responded they found the horses, which investigators say are malnourished, near the lot.
One of the horses has a gash on its hoof and neither have shoes.
The SPCA took custody of the horses while it searches for the owner.
SPCA spokesperson Wendy Marano told NBC10 it is not illegal to own a horse in the city of Philadelphia. There are laws governing the amount of dogs and cats a resident can have, but residents can have as many horses as they want, as long as the animals are properly cared for.
Marano told NBC10 this is a problem.
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"It's actually a huge issue here in Philadelphia and we probably see one or two horse cases a month", said Marano.