ROCHESTER, NY - Two College at Brockport students have been charged with torturing and injuring an animal after a photo was posted online of a dog being held upside down above a beer keg, appearing to drink from the tap.
Shane Oliver of Bergen, N.Y., and Robert Yates of West Seneca, N.Y., both 20, will be back in Sweden Town Court at noon on April 2.
Brockport police said Oliver is the person pictured holding the dog, a black Labrador Retriever named Mya; Yates is the person who took the photo and posted it. The party occurred Saturday off the Brockport campus.
"Through a joint investigation between the SUNY Brockport Police, the Brockport Police Department and the Sweden Dog Warden, it was learned that a dog was held upside down, and apparently forced to consume beer from a keg during a party that occurred on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at a house located on Monroe Avenue in the village of Brockport," according to the news release.
School officials did confirm they have a student named Robert Yates and plan to have a conversation with him. Police confirmed Oliver is also a student.
Speculation that the people responsible for the photo were Brockport students began immediately because the person in the photo was wearing a college t-shirt and the photo was posted on a Twitter account called the SUNY Party Stories page. The photo spread quickly online, and by Monday afternoon was being featured on national news websites.
Mya's owner was not home when the photo was taken, police said. The dog has been taken by the local dog warden and is in good physical condition.
Oliver and Yates were each charged with a misdemeanor.
A spokesman for the college said school officials "were alarmed to see the photos and will investigate it and take appropriate action."
"But other than that it's pretty difficult to comment because the student privacy laws really tie our hands in terms of what we can say as it relates to specific student discipline," said spokesman John Follaco.
Follaco said school officials were meeting with students on Tuesday to learn more.