Rhinelander-area man faces felony for dog’s death
Robert J. Runnerstrom charged with animal mistreatment
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A $2,500 cash bond was set Tuesday in Oneida County Circuit Court for 29-year-old Rhinelander-area man accused of mistreating a dog in a cruel manner that caused the animal’s death.
Robert J. Runnerstrom faces a felony charge of mistreatment of animals along with misdemeanor counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and bail jumping. Upon conviction, the felony charge carries a maximum possible penalty of 18 months of initial confinement in prison, followed by two years of extended supervision, and/or a $10,000 fine.
According to court records, on May 28 at approximately 7:04 p.m. the Oneida County dispatch center received a 911 call reporting someone had killed a dog at a residence in the town of Crescent. The caller stated that Runnerstrom, who informed the caller the dog was dead, had poisoned the dog of the caller’s boyfriend.
Law enforcement officers who were part of a react team responded to the scene when it was unknown whether Runnerstrom, who had outstanding warrants for his arrest, was still at the residence.
Court records further state Runnerstrom was taken into custody and sheriff’s deputies began to look outside for the dog when it wasn’t located in the residence. A bag that contained the dog was discovered outside under a pine tree. The bag started to move when a deputy grabbed it with the dog still alive moving and breathing.
Deputy Nancy Reklau, who also was on the scene, then took the dog to Rhinelander to have emergency services done on it at Animal Health Care. According to a sheriff’s department report, the dog had a skull fracture and some bruising underneath the belly area.
In addition to being booked for mistreatment of animals and bail jumping, Runnerstrom was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after a grinder with green vegetable material was allegedly located in his room.
Runnerstrom is scheduled back in court June 5 for an adjourned initial appearance.