Joseph and Brenda Dush covered their faces from the cameras as they walked into their preliminary hearing in DuBois Friday morning. However, they were faced with animal advocates as they entered.
“Whenever you see an animal being abused, they can’t help themselves and there’s no one there to help them. It just breaks your heart,” says Jerry Volpe from the DuBois Humanitarian Riders.
The Sandy Township couple is accused of starving a horse to death. Police believe they tied the animal to a tree, forced it to stay outside in freezing temperatures, and refused to give it any food or water.
The DuBois Humanitarian Riders started four years ago and is made up of about 70 members.
Jerry Volpe said he knew the group needed to come out to let the couple know their actions will not be tolerated. “People look at bikers, when you’re wearing leather, that you’re bad. You get out and do something like this it just really makes you feel good,” adds Volpe.
According to officials, these are the first felony charges of its kind to be handed down in Clearfield County after Libre’s Law went into effect at the end of last year.
Kari Coble works with officials to assist animals in need and says she hopes this case sets precedence. “There are times for education and there are times for a conviction. this is a time for a conviction,” adds Coble.
The dush family did not want to speak with WTAJ on camera. However, they said there are reasonings behind the actions including a medical condition.
All charges will be held to court.