A Canadian veterinarian has been convicted of cruelty charges in connection with the alleged maltreatment several horses.

In a written statement, the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) said that in responding to a complaint in December 2008, cruelty inspectors discovered a seven-year-old gelding tethered to an automobile belonging to veterinarian Mark Marohn, DVM. The animal was being used to pull the car from a ditch, the statement said. The statement said the horse was emaciated, exhausted, unable to stand, and in critical distress, and he was euthanized at the scene.

Upon further investigation, animal welfare authorities also discovered five additional emaciated horses on Marohn’s Langley, BC, property, the statement said. The statement relayed that those horses were removed from the property, and that one of the five later died. In April 2009, Marohn was later charged with animal cruelty, the statement said. Since their removal the surviving removed horses have been placed in adoptive homes.

On March 28, Marohn was found guilty on the charges, according to the BCSPCA statement.

Marohn was unavailable for comment.

As a result of the conviction, Marohn could be sentenced to serve up to five years in jail, pay a maximum $5,000 fine and be prohibited from owning animals. Sentencing in the case is set for May.