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 was the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016, through July 2023. She covered all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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