Two malnourished horses were found on the loose this morning in North Philadelphia.

Yvette Chamberlain, 49, was on a break from her job at a homeless shelter near 7th and Diamond Streets around 7 a.m. when she encountered one of the horses.

"I was standing on the steps smoking a cigarette with my head turned when I felt this nudging," Chamberlain, of Olney, said. "I didn't know it was a horse. Then I turned around, and there was a horse. I jumped. It scared me."

The horses, she said, had been grazing earlier in an empty lot.

"No one was around," Chamberlain said. "The horses were just standing there by themselves. After the horse nudged me, it went back to eating the grass off the lot. And that's when I called 911."

Police arrived and corralled the horses at North 7th and Diamond Streets until investigators from the Pennsylvania SPCA arrived.

Both horses had halters and animal welfare officials were looking for their owner.