Rusty was born and raised in New Orleans. He completed high school at Jesuit High and went on to Loyola University for his undergraduate degree. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. In 1982 he opened Maher Animal Hospital in Covington, LA. He and his wife Diana have 2 children and 10 pets. He has been a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association since 1981.