Prosecutors: Man admitted to shooting, killing dog 'because it bit him'

RACINE COUNTY -- A Waterford man is facing charges, accused of shooting and killing a dog after it bit him.

Jay Hoppe, 51, faces one count of felony mistreatment of animals, use of a dangerous weapon, domestic abuse assessments, and one count of disorderly conduct, domestic abuse assessments.

According to a criminal complaint, Hoppe choked and then shot the English Mastiff named Mack at his home on Washington Avenue in Rochester. Prosecutors said Hoppe admitted to shooting the dog because it bit him.

Hoppe's roommate said late on May 25, Hoppe began to handle Mack in an aggressive manner. She said she had been attempting to rehabilitate Mack, as he had been abused previously. She said she told Hoppe to leave him alone, but he began to intentionally provoke the dog. When Mack growled and tried to get away from Hoppe, he pulled the dog back toward him and continued to act aggressively. She said she then noticed Hoppe had a bloody lip, and Mack ran away from him. Hoppe then caught Mack and began to choke him. The roommate was able to get Hoppe off the dog, and tried to help Hoppe with his injury. She said Hoppe was "irate, and yelling that the dog has to go." She said she recorded video as Hoppe yelled and punched holes in the walls of the home. He said he would be putting the dog down, and the roommate said she began pleading with Hoppe not to shoot Mack. The roommate noted she has two other dogs, and Hoppe threatened that "one of the other dogs is going to die" if she tried to take Mack from the house. She said she tried to gather the dogs in an effort to flee from the home. When she got Mack into her truck, Hoppe pulled him out and called someone to help get his gun. The roommate said she tried to get Mack back into the truck, but Hoppe wouldn't let her. He said he would shoot Mack even if she was standing next to him, so she fled with her other dogs.

The complaint said during the recording, the roommate was heard pleading with Hoppe to just let her take Mack, and Hoppe said he is "going to kill that dog" and "put a bullet in its head." After she left, she received texts from Hoppe indicating the dog was "gone." Mack was found dead at the end of the driveway.

According to the complaint, Hoppe told investigators Mack bit him while he was petting Mack, so he threw Mack outside and shot him.

Hoppe made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, May 28. Probable cause was found for further proceedings. Cash bond was set at $5,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 5.