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Arrests Made After Photo of Dog Drinking from Keg Surfaces

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Rochester: Arrests Made After Photo of Dog Drinking from Keg Surfaces
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Brockport Police say they learned of the photo Sunday afternoon.
It shows a dog named Mya, being held up by its hind legs on top of a keg of beer. The nozzle of that keg is right at the dog's mouth.

Police say the puppy was being forced to drink beer during a party at a house on Monroe Avenue in Brockport.

Police arrested Robert Yates, 20, of West Seneca, a nursing student at the the College at Brockport, and charged him with torturing/injuring an animal.

Police say it was Yates who took this picture of the dog and tweeted it. That tweet went viral.

Shane Oliver, 20, Bergen, seen holding the dog, was also arrested and faces the same charges.

Many were outraged on social media, calling it animal abuse.

It all eventually caught the attention of the Sweden dog warden and police.

Mya, a four-month-old black lab, was seized and taken to the Sweden Animal Shelter. She's doing well, has gotten all her shots and has been well taken care of. She'll stay there until a judge or law enforcement decides where she'll go next.

“There are a lot of good kids at this school. Sometimes poor decisions are made. If they stop and asked themselves, is this the right thing to do? A lot of times a good decision are going to be made because they know what the right thing is to do is,” said Lt. Mark Cuzzupoli of the Brockport Police Department.

We went to Yates' house to ask him what happened. His housemates said Mya belongs to another man who lives in the multi-family home. Police say the dog's owner was not home at the time of the incident and is not involved.

Other housemates say this was all a misunderstanding.

“I can't explain their actions. I wasn't here, but , I just know all these kids. We've been living here for a year now. It's not like we're horrible people. It's not like they meant to harm the dog or anything like that. We all love Mya, she's a great dog,” said Luke Biondi.

"Bobby's probably one of the nicest kids I've ever met here on campus. He's such a hard worker and he cares about everyone. Bobby's not that type of person. If anyone's looking at this story, it's a complete misunderstanding."

Emergency veterinarian Dr. Simon Kirk explained dogs will react to alcohol much like humans do. Because of their small body mass, he says giving a dog alcohol is like giving alcohol to a child. Younger dogs like Mya can have an even harder time breaking it down.

Brockport Police are still investigating the incident, and say more charges are possible.

“There are a lot of nice people that don't always make the right decision and end up having to answer to that,” said Cuzzupoli.

According to the College at Brockport, they are continuing to investigate the incident and due to privacy laws are unable to release any specific information about the student.

However, officials say that according to the student code of conduct, if a student is convicted of a misdemeanor, the student could face disciplinary actions ranging from an official warning to dismissal from the college without the opportunity to re-enroll in the future.

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