Nearly 40 animals were seized from a Steuben County residence for being left outside in extreme conditions.
According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the Feenaughty Hill Road residence in the Town of Howard based on an anonymous tip of several dogs left on the property without appropriate shelter.
Deputies investigated and conducted an emergency seizure of 32 adult dogs, six puppies and one kitten due to an alleged combination of extreme weather conditions and no access to food or water at that time.
Authorities said that the three men willingly signed ownership of the animals over to the Finger Lakes SPCA the Hornell Humane Society, and Town of Howard Dog Control Officer Gary Hadsell.
An initial examination was performed by a veterinarian through the Finger Lakes SPCA, and several of the dogs were found to have a variety of untreated health issues as well as the majority of them being unsocialized to humans.
Deputies arrested 58-year-old Donald T. Rush, 65-year-old Gary W. Rush, and 69-year-old Garner R. Rush. All three men face counts of Overdriving, Torturing, and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, in violation of Article 27, Section 353, a Class A misdemeanor, and Appropriate Shelter for Dogs Left Outdoors.
As a reminder to the public, sheriff’s officials ask to be aware that all dogs that are outside for any amount of time must be provided with adequate shelter if they are under your care. The shelter should consist of water and wind resistance from all sides, be properly insulated with blankets or straw, and of appropriate size for the animal. Be aware that the animal should be fed and watered twice daily. Prevention of animal abuse is everyone’s responsibility.