Hoover sentenced to jail, probation for killing neighbor’s dog

John Christensen
The Chronicle-Express

PENN YAN – Wayne Hoover, 35, of Branchport, was sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 26 in Yates County Criminal Court on his conviction for felony aggravated animal cruelty.

Hoover, a Mennonite farmer from the town of Jerusalem, was originally arraigned March 17 on the felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals and a misdemeanor charge of illegally discharging a firearm across a highway, Prosser Road west of Branchport. Hoover claimed that the husky, named Shima, was aggressive toward children and animals, and came on his property. Assistant District Attorney Alyxandra Stanczak told the court that a necropsy showed the dog had been shot in the side rather than head-on, and was not on Hoover’s property.

After previously rejecting a plea bargain in June, Hoover, represented by Public Defender Steven Hampsey pleaded guilty Dec. 3 before Judge Jason Cook, to aggravated cruelty to animals (class E felony) in exchange for a promised sentence cap of six months in jail and five years probation with no ownership of firearms, dogs, or cats during that time. An order of protection was also issued for the dog's owners.

District Attorney Todd Casella reports Cook sentenced Hoover to 45 days in jail, five years of probation, 200 hours of community service, a final stay away order of protection for the victims, and no ownership of firearms. Cook reserved on the prohibition to owning domestic animals other than livestock.