Laporte couple charged with animal neglect

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

PARK RAPIDS– A Laporte couple made their first court appearance yesterday, with each one of them facing nine counts of animal mistreatment, five of those counts being felonies.

According to the criminal complaint, a Hubbard County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to the home of 32-year-old Johnathan Johnson and 27-year-old Stephanie Johnson on a report of animal neglect.

After obtaining a search warrant, the veterinarian inspected the five living and four dead horses on the property, with four of the living horses appearing emaciated, and the dead horses appearing to die of poor nutrition.

The living horses were seized on April 5.

Felony animal mistreatment has a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. 

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.

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