Man charged with cruelty after slitting dog’s throat

February 13, 2014

A former Washington man was charged with two counts of animal cruelty after he allegedly slit the throat of a dog in Washington’s West End in late December after the dog reportedly bit his girlfriend.

James M. Elliott, 50, is accused of cutting the throat of Tippy, a 5-year-old mixed breed male dog, Dec. 20. Elliott was living in the home of Tippy’s owner, Connie Stewart, at 135 Brookside Ave., at the time.

Humane police Officer Cathy T. Cunningham was called to Stewart’s home by animal control Officer Kym Secreet and city police. Cunningham described the scene as a “blood bath.”

Stewart’s son, Robert Stewart III, told Cunningham the dog bit Elliott’s girlfriend, identified in court documents as Penny Curry, after she apparently tripped over a gate and startled the animal. She went upstairs, and then Elliott went downstairs with a knife.

Robert Stewart told Cunningham he put the dog in a first-floor bathroom after the dog bit Curry. Elliott reportedly went into the bathroom and either locked or blocked the door, preventing Robert Stewart from entering. He heard the dog’s cries of agony and continued banging on the door but could not get inside.

Elliott reportedly stabbed the dog in the throat before slicing the animal’s throat, severing the carotid artery and jugular vein, causing the animal to bleed to death.

“It suffered terribly,” Cunningham said Thursday.

Connie Stewart told Cunningham she came home to find her dog dead on the bathroom floor with its throat slit. Elliott was gone from the home.

Cunningham arrived at the home to find the bathroom floor, walls and tub covered in blood. The dog’s body was moved outside. A necropsy confirmed the animal bled to death.

Charges were filed at the office of District Judge Robert Redlinger, where a hearing is set for March 12.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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