Two people have been charged with abuse after horses were found eating trees and fence posts because they did not have food. Four of them died.

The horse's owners, Johnathan Johnson, 32, and Stephanie Johnson, 27, both of Laporte, Minn, were charged with multiple counts of felony animal mistreatment, Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes said in a news release Monday.

The animals were discovered on the couple's property after the Sheriff's Office received a complaint in April that horses were being mistreated. Investigators found four dead horses on the property and five other starving horses that had been eating trees and fence posts that were accessible to them, said Aukes.

The horses were seized and taken to a safe place, he said.