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Dog abuse suspect denies allegations, says it was accident


UPDATE: State police said an arrest has been made in the case.Devin Rugg, 18, of Scottdale, was arraigned via video by District Judge Charles Conway on Thursday morning. An online docket lists charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and terroristic threats.ONLY ON 4: Watch our interview with suspect outside jail — click the video player above.As he left the Westmoreland County Prison after arraignment, Rugg denied the allegations, telling Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that he loves animals and that what happened was an accident.”The dog got aggressive in the back of my vehicle, so I let it out, and then I went to back up to go pick it back up, because I felt bad, and I hit it with the back bumper,” Rugg said.Rugg said he found the dog as a stray a few days before the incident, and that the animal had injuries prior to that.Watch the full report tonight on Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 starting at 5 p.m. PREVIOUS: Investigators said a dog was thrown from a car and then backed over by a pickup truck in Ruffs Dale, Westmoreland County.”State police had called us in and stated that there was an incident in Ruffs Dale where a dog had been thrown from a vehicle and backed up over,” said Dina Perri, a lead humane officer at All But Furgotten.The dog, named Russell, is between four and five years old and is being cared for at All But Furgotten in North Huntingdon.”He is in pain,” Perri said. “He has multiple pelvis fractures. He has a lot of road rash.”Humane officials said the dog was neglected even before the recent incident.”There is no regard for life anymore it seems,” Perri said. “People need to start paying for the abuse they do to these animals.”State police are involved in the investigation into who is responsible.All But Furgotten specializes in helping neglected and abused animals, like Russell, get justice. The organization said they’re not only seeing a lot of abuse and neglect cases this year, but their kennels and fosters are overrun. “Every day it’s phone calls, messages on Facebook, emails, from multiple people saying they can no longer take care of their animals,” Madison Wedge of All But Furgotten said. “It’s just been a lot worse in the past year, way more than we’ve seen previously with people not able to take care of their animals anymore.”The shelter won’t turn away any neglect case, so they’re asking for the community to help in the form of volunteers, fosters and donations, while they seek justice for these animals, like Russell.

UPDATE: State police said an arrest has been made in the case.

Devin Rugg, 18, of Scottdale, was arraigned via video by District Judge Charles Conway on Thursday morning. An online docket lists charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and terroristic threats.

ONLY ON 4: Watch our interview with suspect outside jail — click the video player above.

As he left the Westmoreland County Prison after arraignment, Rugg denied the allegations, telling Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that he loves animals and that what happened was an accident.

“The dog got aggressive in the back of my vehicle, so I let it out, and then I went to back up to go pick it back up, because I felt bad, and I hit it with the back bumper,” Rugg said.

Rugg said he found the dog as a stray a few days before the incident, and that the animal had injuries prior to that.

Watch the full report tonight on Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 starting at 5 p.m.


PREVIOUS: Investigators said a dog was thrown from a car and then backed over by a pickup truck in Ruffs Dale, Westmoreland County.

“State police had called us in and stated that there was an incident in Ruffs Dale where a dog had been thrown from a vehicle and backed up over,” said Dina Perri, a lead humane officer at All But Furgotten.

The dog, named Russell, is between four and five years old and is being cared for at All But Furgotten in North Huntingdon.

“He is in pain,” Perri said. “He has multiple pelvis fractures. He has a lot of road rash.”

Humane officials said the dog was neglected even before the recent incident.

“There is no regard for life anymore it seems,” Perri said. “People need to start paying for the abuse they do to these animals.”

State police are involved in the investigation into who is responsible.

All But Furgotten specializes in helping neglected and abused animals, like Russell, get justice. The organization said they’re not only seeing a lot of abuse and neglect cases this year, but their kennels and fosters are overrun.

“Every day it’s phone calls, messages on Facebook, emails, from multiple people saying they can no longer take care of their animals,” Madison Wedge of All But Furgotten said. “It’s just been a lot worse in the past year, way more than we’ve seen previously with people not able to take care of their animals anymore.”

The shelter won’t turn away any neglect case, so they’re asking for the community to help in the form of volunteers, fosters and donations, while they seek justice for these animals, like Russell.

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