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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

News Date: 12/19/2007 

 Two Charged with Multiple Counts of Animal Cruelty 

ThePolk County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division seized 19 Great Dane dogs Tuesday, December 18, 2007,
and charged the owners with multiple counts of Animal Cruelty.

Patricia Ann Rust, DOB 12/21/1944, 10914 Country View Drive, Lakeland, was charged by Affidavit with 11 Counts of Animal
Cruelty, and her husband, Mason William Rust, DOB 01/31/1937, 2017 Sylvester Road,
Lakeland, was charged by Affidavit with 10 Counts of Animal Cruelty.

The investigation began in November when Animal Control was contacted by an individual from the Great Dane Rescue
of Tampa Bay advising she had taken custody of a dog that was in poor medical condition. ( A photo is attached.) The
dog was severely malnourished and had difficulty walking.

Deputy Wright attempted to make contact with Patricia Rust multiple times with negative results until Tuesday,
December 18, 2007, when he found both she and her husband at the 10914 Country View Drive residence.  While at the Country View residence, and after charging Patricia Rust in the November incident, Deputy Wright learned that 10 Great Danes were locked inside the mobile home.

The conditions were deplorable. The floor was covered in urine and feces. The ammonia odor made breathing difficult. Feces were piled as high as 8 to 10 inches in the living room.

The 10 dogs inside were seized. Patricia Rust was then charged with an additional 10 Counts of Animal Cruelty. Mason Rust, Patricia’s husband, and who cared for the dogs, was also charged at that time.  Two other Great Danes were found at a second
residence, 2017 Sylvester Road, Lakeland, and believed to belong to Patricia Rust. Those dogs were also seized.

A total of 19 dogs were seized and taken to Animal Control. All of the dogs were flea infested, and are being evaluated and treated by veterinary staff at Animal Control.  Several photos of the Country View residence accompany this release and can
be found on www.polksheriff.org.