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WATERFORD, WI – A man was charged Friday with animal mistreatment after choking and shooting a dog.

Jay Hoppe, 51, of Waterford, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s  Office with one count of mistreatment of animals, use of a dangerous weapon, and one count of disorderly conduct. If convicted of the charges, Hoppe faces up to four years three months in prison and/or fines up to $11,200.

According to the criminal complaint, Hoppe choked and the shot a dog because it bit him. The incident happened at 11:16 p.m. on May 25 at a residence at 28505 Washington Avenue.

The woman who owned the dog told a deputy with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department that Hoppe is her roommate.

Hoppe and the woman were eating dinner when Hoppe began playing aggressively with the English Mastiff named Mack. She had been trying to rehabilitate the dog because it had been abused. The woman told Hoppe to leave the dog alone, but he began to provoke the dog and it growled at him. She then saw that Hoppe had a bloody lip and Mack had run away.

Running after the dog, Hoppe then began choking it. The woman got Hoppe off the dog and tried to help Hoppe. Irate, he told her that Mack “had to go.”

His rant continued for almost 45 minutes. Yelling and punching the walls, Hoppe told the woman he would put the dog down. At one point, she pleaded with him to not shoot the dog. The woman recorded the last half hour of the incident, according to the criminal complaint.

Fearing that he would shoot all of three of her dogs, she tried to leave the home but Hoppe pulled Mack out of the truck. He then told the woman he would shoot the dog with her present. He asked another person to come over and bring his gun.

When that person arrived and gave him the gun, Hoppe told the woman he was “going to put a bullet in its head.”
The woman left. He then texted her and said the dog was “gone.” The deputies found the dog at the end of the driveway.

Hoppe told investigators that Mack bit him while he was petting him and so he threw Mack outside and shot the dog.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.