Soldotna man charged with animal cruelty

A Soldotna man has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty after troopers say he beat a dog Wednesday afternoon.

Alaska State Troopers say they responded to the home of Samuel Stroer, 44, in Soldotna just before 3 p.m. on Wednesday after a neighbor called to report a verbal disturbance. They found Stroer had first used a “large metal pipe,” and then a two-by-four piece of wood with a screw sticking out of it, to beat a Labrador-Pit Bull mix named Paco, according to an Alaska State Trooper dispatch. The dog was later brought to the Soldotna Animal Hospital, where it vomited blood before a veterinarian decided it would have to be euthanized, according to the dispatch.

Stroer told troopers he was trying to put the dog in his room when it “got aggressive with him and growled at him,” a trooper wrote in an affidavit. Stoer first beat the dog unconscious with the pipe, then brought it out to his garage, where he beat it again with the lumber after it woke up and “reportedly tried to attack him again,” the trooper wrote in the affidavit. Stroer broke the end off the two-by-four while hitting the dog.

According to the affidavit, Stroer told troopers he was in “fight or flight mode at the time.”

It is unknown whether alcohol was a factor, said Alaska State Trooper Public Information Office Beth Ipsen in an email.

A woman at the house saw Stroer begin the beat the dog, and left the house because of it, according to the affidavit.

Cierra Conklin, of Soldotna, is Paco’s original owner. She said she got the 4-year-old dog from a litter of puppies when he was six weeks old, but had trouble training him as he grew bigger. The dog could sometimes be aggressive to other dogs, Conklin said, but not toward people.

“Never once was he ever aggressive with people,” she said. “I have videos of him playing with my 1-year-old niece.”

Conklin said she brought in trainers to help with Paco, but eventually decided about a month an a half ago that he would do better in another home as she was not strong enough to separate him from other dogs. Conklin said she re-homed Paco to a couple renting the house in Soldotna from Stroer.

He was not intended to be Paco’s owner, she said.

“I just spoke to them (the couple) and they were not home when it happened,” Conklin said.

Conklin said she will pick up Paco’s body from the Soldotna Animal Hospital and take it to be cremated. She attended Stroer’s arraignment Thursday morning at the Kenai Courthouse, where she said he appeared verbally aggressive. Conklin saw Stroer throw papers in the direction of the judge’s seat near the end of the hearing, she said.

Stroer is charged with one count of cruelty to animals, a class C felony. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Stroer’s bail was set at $3,000, and he will have a representation hearing on Oct. 20.

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

Sockeye salmon are gathered together at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnets for commercial setnet fishers given emergency approval by CFEC

Up to three 12-hour periods of commercial dipnetting “may” be allowed each week from June 20 to July 31

Council member Dave Carey speaks during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna explores increases to its water and sewer expansion fees

The fees are a single charge to people who are newly or differently demanding or utilizing the services of the city’s water and sewer system

Vice President Tyson Cox speaks during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to discuss short-term rental tax on Tuesday

The resolution describes a proposed tax of up to 12%

Photo provided by Special Olympics Alaska Central Peninsula
The Special Olympics Alaska Central Peninsula team stands together for a photo during the Summer State Games in Anchorage.
Area athletes claim 45 medals at Special Olympics Alaska Summer Games

The Central Peninsula team fielded 17 local athletes in the competition

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of debating an omnibus education bill in the Alaska House Chambers on Monday, Feb. 19 in Juneau.
Ruffridge talks successes, unfinished business after freshman session in Juneau

Ruffridge is up for election this year, facing a challenger in former-Rep. Ron Gillham

tease
Homer, Seldovia to celebrate summer solstice

Events will be held starting June 20

A freshly stocked rainbow trout swims in Johnson Lake during Salmon Celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Johnson Lake in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Slow sockeye fishing at Russian River, good rainbow trout at Kenai Lake

A Northern Kenai Fishing Report published by the State Department of Fish… Continue reading

Council member James Baisden speaks in favor of an amendment to the City of Kenai’s budget that would add funds for construction of a veteran’s memorial column in the Kenai Cemetery during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai budget amendment allocates funds for veterans’ columbarium in cemetery expansion

A columbarium is an aboveground structure that houses cremated remains

Council member Alex Douthit speaks in favor of an amendment to the CIty of Kenai’s budget that would reduce funds allocated to the Storefront and Streetscape Improvement Program during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Funding reduced for City of Kenai’s storefront improvement grant program

Just over a year after the City of Kenai established its Storefront… Continue reading

Most Read