Rhinelander man gets 6 months in jail for killing dog - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rhinelander man gets 6 months in jail for killing dog


RHINELANDER (WAOW) - A 29-year-old Rhinelander man was sentenced to six months in jail and two years probation Friday for poisoning a dog with toilet bowl cleaner and killing it, according to online Oneida County court records.

In a plea deal, Robert Runnerstrom was convicted of felony mistreatment of a dog in a cruel manner resulting in its death for a May 28 incident in rural Rhinelander, court records said.

The judge stayed a 3 1/2-year prison sentence, meaning if Runnerstrom violates terms of his probation - including continuing mental health treatment - he would be sent to prison, court records said.

A judge also ordered Runnerstrom to pay $1,727 in restitution.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman called police reporting someone had killed her boyfriend's dog - named Bambi - and she blamed Runnerstrom, telling police he had called her and said the dog was dead.

At Runnerstrom's home, a woman told investigators that he told her the dog got into some poison in the bathroom, the complaint said.

Deputies found toilet bowl cleaner tipped over on the floor and "some foam that looked like it was from a dog with some blood in the foam," the complaint said.

Nearby, investigators found a wooden leg from a chair and another piece of wood, the complaint said.

Deputies found the dog under a tree in a bag but alive and it was rushed to a veterinarian, the complaint said. "The dog had a skull fracture and some bruising underneath the belly area."

The woman at Runnerstrom's home told investigators that earlier in the day, she and Runnerstrom had purchased a case of beer for him, the complaint said.

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