Three charged with animal cruelty after 38 dogs, 1 cat seized by authorities

Deputies in Steuben County arrested three men after finding dozens of dogs left outside during harsh winter weather and without access to food and water.

Donald T. Rush, 58, Gary W. Rush, 65, and Garner R. Rush, 69 were charged with overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals and failure to provide proper sustenance, a class A-misdemeanor, and failing to provide appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors.

The Sheriff’s animal cruelty investigation team responded to a residence on Feenaughty Road on the town of Howard after receiving an anonymous tip that the dogs had been left on the property in extreme weather conditions.

After discovering the condition of the animals, deputies made an emergency seizure of 32 adult dogs, six puppies, and one kitten. All three men voluntarily signed over ownership of the animals to the Finger Lakes SPCA, the Hornell Humane Society, and the Town of Howard’s dog control officer.

An initial intake examination found that several of the dogs had unrelated health issues and the majority of them had not been socialized to humans.

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