Dog Shot in Lena, Family Wants Tougher Charges

A Lena family wants justice after their dog was shot by a neighbor 11 days ago.

The neighbor has been charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

But the dog's owners want the charge upgraded to a felony.

This house outside Lena is the Potamianos' dream home.

They moved here last March from the Chicago suburbs with their dogs.

"My husband wanted to live right here in Lena, since he was in college in Platteville and Cedarville Road was his shortcut."

Dory Potamianos' husband trains dogs as a hobby. They have four including a black lab named Wednesday. All with shock collars. But no fence between their yard and their neighbors'. Two Saturdays ago,

"She runs up this lane here, all the way to back of his yard."

That was when Potamianos heard a gunshot.

"I couldn't believe it, my husband put Wednesday in the truck then took off, I saw the hole in her chest, but I thought it had to be from brush, maybe she got poked by a branch why would this guy shoot this dog?"

The 911 dispatch summary says Dory called and said her neighbor just shot her dog. And she threatened to do the same.

When the Stephenson County Sheriffs Deputies arrived, they went to talk to her neighbor Timothy Hamilton. Their reports say

Hamilton said he was tired of dogs constantly running loose. He had complained to the Potamianos' several times because they chased deer from his property. He told officers he had never called the police to complain. He saw one of the dogs chasing birds by his bird feeder. He said he took his rifle, stepped outside of his house and shot the dog.

"He's only asked us one time, one time that he asked me to keep our dogs off his property because they chase deer."

The deputies arrested and charged Hamilton with criminal damage to property. A misdemeanor. And confiscated a rifle. Hamilton told the deputies he probably went about this wrong. When called, Hamilton chose not to talk to WTVO on camera saying he and his family have been receiving threats. He did tell us he called police later that night.

The log shows Hamilton called police saying the Potamianos' harassed his step daughter. And followed her car on Cedarville Road. The Potamianos' told the deputy they followed the car because they were headed in the same direction. The police left about an hour later without taking any action.

"I think Tim Hamilton might be sorry, and I don't want to villianize him, I don't want a lynch mob mentality, I think he lost control, and I don't think he should have guns."

Wednesday is having surgery to repair a bullet wound to her intestines. And the Potamianos' want Hamilton's charge upgraded to a felony.

Hamilton's first court date is set for February.

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