“Unacceptable conditions” found at animal shelter

VAN WERT, Ohio (WANE) – The Van Wert, Ohio County Sheriff says Rich Strunkenberg the County Dog Warden for the humane society is on administrative leave with pay. Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach says his department received a call Sunday from someone in the community concerned about the conditions of the Van Wert County Humane Society.

Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the shelter at 309 Bonnewitz Avenue in Van Wert. Riggenbach won’t describe the conditions he and his deputies found due to the ongoing investigation.

Van Wert County Humane Society located at 309 Bonnewitz Avenue in Ohio
Van Wert County Humane Society located at 309 Bonnewitz Avenue in Ohio

“I will say that it was unacceptable to me,” Van Wert Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach said.

A local veterinarian was also called out Sunday to assess the health of several of the animals. Some of them had to be taken to the vet’s office. Sheriff Riggenbach says all of the animals except for one has been returned to the shelter. He hopes that last animal will return Thursday afternoon.

The Sheriff is Strunkenberg’s supervisor. Sheriff Riggenbach told NewsChannel 15 Thursday he was surprised by what they found Sunday.

“I just think it’s important for everyone to understand that we are investigating this. It’s going to be a thorough investigation, and once we have that completed and we have all of the facts that we can get we will take the appropriate next step.”

Meanwhile, Riggenbach has assigned a Sergeant with his department to oversee operations of the humane society.

“Work on things that we need to take care of there, but again try to provide some services there. We have not received animals this week if at all possible.”

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