Animal welfare authorities in California are seeking whoever is responsible for abandoning an emaciated horse near a rural road in the city of Ontario earlier this week.

Mamma

"Mamma" was euthanized Sept. 15 after she failed to respond to treatment.

Inland Valley Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Investigator Beth Les said that on Sept. 13, a passing motorist spotted the Quarter Horse mare tied to a tree.

"She was tied in direct sunlight without food or water," Les said.

A veterinary examination revealed that the 7 to 15-year-old mare was 300 pounds underweight, Les said.

On Sept. 15, a veterinarian euthanized the mare, named Mamma by humane workers, after she failed to respond to treatment, Les said.

Les said the investigation into the case will continue despite the animal’s demise.

"We’re not stopping the investigation until we find out who did this," Les said.

If caught, those responsible could face felony animal cruelty charges carrying maximum penalties of up to $20,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail, Les said.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Les at 909/623-9777.