Mount Union man sentenced for killing puppy

Tippett will spend 8 to 30 months in prison for cruelty

From Mirror staff reports

A Mount Union man who was convicted of killing a beagle puppy will spend eight to 30 months in prison.

James Tippett, 25, was sentenced last week by Huntingdon County Judge George Zanic after he was convicted of third-degree felony cruelty to animals causing serious bodily injury or death. Tippett also must pay a $500 fine and the cost of prosecution. He also was found guilty of a summary count of cruelty to animals, but no further punishment was imposed by the judge.

State police at Hunting­don went to the Valley View Trailer Court in the Mount Union area in May 2018 to investigate a neighbor’s concern that Tippett was abusing a beagle puppy named Ranger. The neighbor, who had been uploading a video to Facebook, caught part of the abuse on video and called police.

After troopers arrived, they said Tippett admitted to the killing and led police to the puppy’s burial site.

Witnesses told the jury that the puppy appeared to be afraid of Tippett and that the puppy, on the day of its death, slipped out of its collar and tried to run away. Evidence produced at the trial showed Tippett kicking the puppy and throwing a collapsible cage at it outside his residence.

Trial evidence also showed Tippett taking the puppy in­side and throwing it against a wall, a press release issued by Hunting­don County Dis­trict At­torney Dave Smith after the trial said.

Tippett testified at his trial that the puppy’s death was an accident, but the jury deliberated less than 20 minutes before convicting him.