Police arrested the 20-year-olds after a photo started circulating on Twitter showing the dog being held over a keg with the tap placed in its mouth.
Animal rights activists call the photo disturbing, but one person who was at the party says it's deceiving.
"The puppy hadn't had a sip of alcohol all night. It was strictly a joke that went wrong," Kyle Karst said.
"It's using an animal as a party gag. It's horrific. It's terrible. There's nothing funny about it. It's inhumane," said the dog's owner Veronica Naciello.
The men attend the College at Brockport, located 17 miles west of Rochester. They've been charged with torturing and injuring an animal.
Officials say the dog is OK.