VAN WERT — Van Wert County commissioners Thursday voted to remove the county’s Dog Warden, Rich Strunkenburg, after findings from an investigation into complaints of neglect of duty. The removal took effect Thursday.
Strunkenburg, who was the only employee at the shelter, was also the county’s sole humane agent and was responsible for investigating reports of animal cruelty and neglect. He was placed on paid administrative leave on July 20, although county leaders at the time declined to say why they placed him on leave.
Commissioners Todd Wolfrum and Thad Lichtensteiger said, in part, in a prepared statement released Thursday that the “commissioners, sheriff, and Humane Society will begin to restructure the duties of the Dog Warden position, emphasizing 24/7 safeguards and backstops. We also want to involve and incorporate volunteers in the work of the kennel and dog adoptions.”