Attorney of former Rains Co. deputy: 'It's a horrible situation, but I do believe the shooting is justified'

Published: Apr. 25, 2014 at 6:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2014 at 5:10 PM CDT
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Candy, the dog (Family Photo)
Candy, the dog (Family Photo)

RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A former Rains County deputy retained a Dallas attorney on Friday. Jerrod Dooley was fired by Rains County on Thursday after he shot a dog while responding to a burglary call on April 18.

"[The] dog shooting in Rains County this week [was] an unfortunate situation," said Peter Schulte, Dooley's attorney. "Deputy Dooley retained me today to share his side... I ask that everyone keep an open mind about the Rains County incident. It's a horrible situation but I do believe the shooting is justified."

Rains County Sheriff David Traylor said he received a message on Friday by someone claiming to be Dooley's attorney. The Rains County attorney advised the sheriff not to return the call and to forward further calls to the county attorney.

According to the Rains County Sheriff's Office, Dooley was fired for his own safety because of threats. Sheriff David Traylor added that it is the safest move for the department and the deputy.

"That was a decision I know means saying at this point he is guilty of a criminal offense, but it is being investigated toward the criminal side right now," Traylor said.

Homeowner Cole Middleton arrived home around 11 a.m. 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.

The homeowner says the dog was shot in the head. He begged the deputy to finish off his cowdog, named Candy, since the dog was suffering.“I was so upset. I went over there to her and she was still alive and I begged and pleaded with him to please shoot her again because I don’t have any firearms. They got stolen. He went and got in his vehicle and backed out of my driveway,” Middleton explained.

Middleton had trained Candy to be a cow dog, and he says his dog was a natural.“And then I had to do the unthinkable, the otherwise unthinkable. I had to kill my dog with my bare hands and put her out of her suffering, praying for this to be over with,” Middleton said.

The Middleton family says the necropsy report by a veterinarian proves that Candy was shot in the back of the head.

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