Petting zoo owner arrested; friend denies abuse claims

Friends of a Glendale petting zoo owner accused of animal cruelty are coming to his defense.

Tyle Tippetts is accused of dragging one of his miniature pony's down the street after it fell off of a flatbed truck.

Police say Tippetts had dozens of animals including a llama living in filthy conditions.

The llama is actually an alpaca and is being cared for now by one of Tippetts' friends.

It's not clear what will happen to the alpaca after his owner has been arrested, for now he's staying with Tippets friend, George Bartos.

"Animals are the most important thing I feed the animals; I don't care if they pay me or not," said George Bartos.

but Bartos say he doesn't believe Tippetts would abuse animals, he thinks police are being dramatic.

"They were all healthy if you think he had sick animals for a petting zoo, you think people wouldn't say anything about it," he said.

Tippets was arrested after one of his horses Lucy fell out of a flatbed trailer and onto the road. Police say the trainer didn't have a gate, and Tippetts drove for a few blocks, dragging Lucy before he stopped.

"I think he was really stupid, some people just haven't got any common sense," said Bartos.

The Alpaca was on the flatbed with Lucy when it happened. Police say both weren't tied down. 

Tippets allegedly told officers he didn't understand what all the fuss was about; it's not like he had thrown a kid out of the car. Police say Lucy was shaking and crying in pain, hurt so badly she had to be put down.

"Well, I wasn't there, and I can't say, it's my opinion but from my association from animals I've never heard them cry whenever they're hurt," he said. 

No word on what will happen with Tippets animals, the investigation continues.

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