HUFFINGTON POST
02/25/2011 10:13 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John And Sonja Kluth, Oklahoma Couple, Accused Of Treating Children Like Dogs

An Oklahoma couple faces shocking accusations as to their treatment of three adopted children. John and Sonja Kluth, charged with three counts of child abuse and three counts of child neglect, allegedly forced the youngsters to eat pet food and locked them in cages. They also frequently beat them until they lost consciousness.

CNN spoke to Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards, who said it was the worst abuse case he had ever seen. "They have been raised worse than dogs," he said.

News Oklahoma reports that the pair was receiving $4,500 a month from the state of Wisconsin, where they originally adopted the children after providing foster care, before their arrest.

According to Oklahoma City's KOCO.com, neighbors are stunned:

"When we moved into the neighborhood, they brought us pie and brought us vegetables out of the garden," said Tracy Ellis.

Ellis said she lived two doors down from the Kluths former residence.

Ellis said the Kluths were a nice couple.

"She was a stay-at-home mom who educated the kids at home. The kids weren't really outside a whole lot. They were little," Ellis said.

Mirror News reports that Sonja, 57, abused the children, two boys ages 15 and 11, and a girl, 9, most forcefully while her husband stood by and did nothing.

The couple is scheduled to appear in court March 7.