February 11, 2019
HOWARD, NY – Statement From Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard:
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that deputies arrested Donald T. Rush, age 58, Gary W. Rush, age 65, and Garner R. Rush, age 69, of Feenaughty Hill Road in the Town of Howard, New York. All three men were arrested for 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, in Violation of Article 27, Section 353B, both of the New York State Agricultural and Markets Law.
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Animal Cruelty Investigation team responded to the Feenaughty Hill Road residence based on an anonymous tip of several dogs left on the property without appropriate shelter for the elements. Deputies investigated and conducted an emergency seizure of thirty two adult dogs, six puppies and one kitten, due to the alleged combination of extreme weather conditions and no access to food or water at that time. All 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.
Sheriff Allard thanks the Finger Lakes SPCA, the Hornell Humane Society, and the Dog Control Officer (DCO) for the Town of Howard, Gary Hadsell, for their teamwork and assistance in this investigation. The Finger Lakes SPCA, the Hornell Humane Society, DCO Hadsell, as well as Pawz & Purzz Animal Rescue, American Brittney Rescue, and Rescued Treasures, all assisted in the major undertaking of sheltering, fostering, and providing medical care for each animal. An initial intake 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.
As a reminder to the public; please 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.
If any member of the public that is aware of any incident of Animal Cruelty that needs to be investigated they are asked to contact 911 to file a report or make an anonymous report through the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office with as many details as possible.