Records show Rains Co. dog shooting wasn't first for deputy - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Records show Rains Co. dog shooting wasn't first for deputy

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Jerrod Dooley in an interview in May 2014. Jerrod Dooley in an interview in May 2014.
Jerrod Dooley appeared in court on Thursday morning. (Source: KLTV staff) Jerrod Dooley appeared in court on Thursday morning. (Source: KLTV staff)
Cole Middleton, Candy's owner, arrives at the Rains Co. Courthouse for Thursday's hearing. Cole Middleton, Candy's owner, arrives at the Rains Co. Courthouse for Thursday's hearing.
RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A former Rains County sheriff's deputy who shot a dog on April 18 while responding to a robbery call made his first court appearance on Thursday morning.

Documents obtained by Cole Middleton, the owner of the dog that was shot, from the Rains County Sheriff's Office revealed that this is not the first time former deputy Jerrod Dooley has shot a dog.

The documents show that in January, Dooley responded to a dangerous dog call in Rains County. The documents show that when Dooley arrived, he spoke to the landowner who said she had seen two Rottweilers chasing ducks on the property. When she attempted to scare the dogs away, the dogs attempted to attack her.

“It felt like a punch in the stomach it was like I just can’t believe somebody would do that,” Cole Middleton, the owner of Candy, the dog Dooley shot in April, said.

The documents says Dooley approached the dogs trying to scare them away. One dog laid down and appeared friendly. He says the other dog ran towards him in an "aggressive manner." He said he drew his weapon and pointed it at the dog, which was running towards him. The other dog then jumped up and ran towards him as well. Dooley says he felt "imminent danger" and fired once at the dog. The dog hit the ground and ran off. After inspecting both dogs, the documents say it appeared neither had life-threatening injuries. The dog believed to have been shot appeared to only have a superficial wound on its back.

Dooley was in a Rains County court for a pre-trial hearing on a charge of animal cruelty. Dooley pleaded not guilty to the charge in June.

After a brief hearing Thursday, the hearing ended with a rescheduled pre-trial hearing for September 18. Dooley sat one row in front of Cole Middleton and his wife, the owners of Candy, the blue heeler that Dooley shot. Dooley remained silent throughout the hearing.

“Well, of course, when you see attorneys talking in back doors with the judge and whispering in the front, you know, your mind questions, but it’s just part of the process," Middleton said.

According to the Rains County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Jerrod Dooley was fired in April as a result of the incident. Sheriff David Traylor said that it was for Dooley's safety because of threats. He added that it is the safest move for the department and the deputy.

“Come on our property and you hurt members of our family and we’re gonna see that you’re held accountable and we hope that this sets precedent. We might save the lives of some other furry family members,” Middleton said.

Middleton, a Rains County resident, arrived home around 11 a.m. on April 18 and discovered his home had been burglarized. Middleton said his guns, iPad and his wife's jewelry had been taken. Middleton called 911 at 12:46 p.m. At 2:41 p.m., Dooley arrived at the home. Middleton said when Dooley arrived to investigate, he claimed the dog was about to bite him and shot the dog to defend himself.

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