The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Strunkenburg changes plea to guilty

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Former Van Wert County dog warden Rich Strunkenburg entered guilty pleas to two felony animal cruelty-related charges as part of a plea agreement with the Van Wert County Prosecutor’s Office.

Former Van Wert County dog warden Richard Strunkenburg appears in County Common Pleas Court for his arraignment on felony charges on Wednesday, (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Former Van Wert County dog warden Richard Strunkenburg during his arraignment hearing earlier this year. (VW independent file photo)

Strunkenburg entered guilty pleas to two counts of prohibitions concerning companion animals, each a felony of the fifth degree, during a hearing Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court. Two other counts of the same offense were dismissed in exchange for his guilty pleas.

Judge Charles D. Steele, during his last official day in office, ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Strunkenburg for 1 p.m. Monday, February 2, 2015. A personal surety bond was ordered continued until his sentencing.

Strunkenburg was originally charged with four counts of prohibitions concerning companion animals as a result of an investigation by the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office into reports filed back in July that the former dog warden had neglected and mistreated animals at the county humane shelter.

Strunkenburg was indicted by the Van Wert County Grand Jury as a result of evidence obtained during that investigation..

Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach had noted that conditions at the shelter when he visited on July 20 were substandard, in his opinion. Special Prosecutor Joseph R. Burkhard, who is also the Paulding County prosecutor, was later appointed by Judge Steele to determine whether criminal charges would be filed in the case.

POSTED: 12/31/14 at 1:09 pm. FILED UNDER: News