The Van Wert County Humane Shelter on Bonnewitz Ave. in Van Wert was the site where the investigation was carried out. (DHI Media File Photo)
The Van Wert County Humane Shelter on Bonnewitz Ave. in Van Wert was the site where the investigation was carried out. (DHI Media File Photo)
BY ED GEBERT
DHI Media Editor
egebert@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT -- A special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate former Van Wert County Dog Warden Rich Strunkenburg. Van Wert County Sheriff confirmed on Tuesday that Paulding County Prosecuting Attorney has been named special prosecutor for this case. Riggenbach stated that a request for a special prosecutor would have to come from Van Wert County Prosecutor Charles Kennedy, and that an appointment would have to be done by Common Pleas Court Judge Charles D. Steeele.

Strunkenburg was fired by the Van Wert County Commissioners last week. Reasons given by the commissioners included the failure to supply adequate food, water, care and attention to the animals, failure to adequately clean the kennel and cage area, and failure to secure dead animals at the facility. It has been widely reported by Fort Wayne television stations about numbers of dead animals found at the shelter, but those reports have never been confirmed by Riggenbach.

The sheriff did say that an anonymous complaint had led to an inspection of the facility and at that time the facility was in a very unacceptable condition.

There is no word on the timetable for the special prosecutor or any specific charges that might be considered at this time.