Van Wert man sentenced in animal cruelty case

VAN WERT — Elisha Jacob Secrist, 22, of Van Wert, has been sentenced to three years of community control, two years of intensive probation, 30 days in jail and 50 hours of community service on a charge of cruelty to animals, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Secrist was also ordered to undergo a mental health assessment and treatment as well as an annual medical examination and to pay $2,729 in restitution to Deb’s Dogs.

Secrist was indicted by a grand jury on June 4 on charges of cruelty to a companion animal, a felony of the fifth degree. Secrist accepted a deal from prosecutors to plead to the reduced charge.

Protesters, including representatives of the Allen County and Van Wert County humane societies and Deb’s Dogs in Lima, gathered outside the Van Wert Courthouse to protest on June 25 after being told Secrist could be released from jail the following day. That release did not happened.

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