FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Six abused and neglected horses have been seized in Fresno County in the past two months by the Central California SPCA.

The horses are just the latest in an uptick of investigations involving animal cruelty across Fresno County.

“The horses were underweight, they’re hooves we’re not properly trimmed, some of them had teeth issues that could have been the cause of their loss of weight,” said field operations manager Jesse Boyce. “Some of the horses weren’t being provided with a proper diet.”

Typically when officers find there are issues with animals they try and work with the owner to nurse the animal back to health. In some cases, the owner does not comply so the SPCA takes them in.

In the past two years, the SPCA has investigated around a thousand cases of animal negligence and cruelty and performed over 100 health and safety checks. Those that work to rehabilitate these animals say shedding light on this topic is a step in the right direction.

“It’s really hard to go out into our community and having to be put in these situations to seize these animals, but at the end of the day it brings us a lot of pride and satisfaction to be able to care for these animals and nurse them back to health,” said the SPCA’s Shalee Thornhill.

The SPCA says most of their investigations are instances of unintentional neglect that can be resolved by educating animal owners on the proper ways to care for their animals – but that isn’t always the case.

“It’s a crime to neglect an animal, to deprive it of proper nutrition, or water, so people can face criminal charges, “says Boyce.

As the primary animal welfare organization, the CCSPCA is committed to rescuing animals in need and giving them a proper home.

“We are here for the animals, we are here for the public, we want them to understand that we’re still out there and will do what we can for the animals,” said the CCSPCA’s Walter Salvari.

Officials add that it is important to report any case of animal cruelty so that the proper measures can be taken to help the animals in need.