Mobile petting zoo owner accused of animal cruelty after dragging incident
Phoenix, AZ — The 38-year-old owner of a mobile petting zoo business faces a possible animal cruelty charge after witnesses said a pony he was transporting Feb. 21 fell out of a makeshift animal trailer and was dragged by its neck until the owner finally stopped.
Tyler Wade Tippetts, who told police he owns Tyler’s Petting Zoo in Glendale, was arrested Feb. 27 and booked into jail on one count of animal cruelty, though other charges could be pending a separate investigation, Phoenix police said.
A witness told police she noticed Tyler driving fast and the pony was sliding in the trailer that had no back gate.
The witness, who was behind Tyler, said he accelerated from at a green light at 35th and Northern avenues and the trailer jumped in the air, sending the pony out of the back of the trailer and landing on its front knees on the street.
The witness told police he kept driving and dragged the pony that was still tied the trailer. It was dragged on its right side and its neck twisted awkwardly until Tyler stopped with the pony still lying in the street, the witness said.
Several people honked at Tyler to get his attention before he finally pulled over, the witness said.
Tyler told officers he was returning from a child’s birthday party and the pony fell out of the back of the trailer, but insisted it was not hurt, although the investigating officer said the pony was bloody and shaking.
He said he didn’t understand why he was being questioned and incidents such as his happen all the time and it wasn’t like he “had thrown a kid out of the car or anything,” the officer said.
The pony was examined by two separate veterinarians before it was euthanized Sunday because of the severity of its wounds.
A check of Tyler’s residence revealed other animals were found in filthy conditions and without appropriate food, water, shelter or care, resulting in a separate investigation involving several agencies that is continuing, police said.