Deputy breaks down, says 'I'd be upset if it were my dog'
April 25, 2014 at 10:32 PM CDT - Updated July 2 at 8:35 AM
RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV)
A former Rains County Sheriff's Office deputy is talking about the call that ended with a dog shot and his career with the department over.
Former Deputy Jerrod Dooley spoke from the office of his recently-retained Dallas lawyer, Peter Schulte. Schulte is a criminal defense attorney and has a background in law enforcement.
Dooley was fired for his handling of an April 18 burglary call on Cole Middleton's property in Rains County. When Dooley arrived, Candy the family's dog was in the back of a truck and friendly. Dooley approached her and talked to the dog.
"Come here partner," Dooley told the dog. "What're you fussing at?"
The Rains County Sheriff's Office and Dooley have received numerous threats since the story of the shooting of Candy, the blue heeler, was first reported on Monday. Dooley said it is a call that he still thinks about daily and understands why Middleton was so angry.
"I tried walking back to the truck; before I could get there the dog made another attempt to come out of the truck," Dooley said. "She was barking real loudly, ears pinned back, she was coming at me very fast."
"I tried everything I could to get away from her," he said while breaking down crying. "Told her to get back, and she wouldn't get back and I fired two shots."
Dooley recalls when he had to tell Middleton about shooting Candy.
"Before we start, your dog charged me," Dooley said. "I had to shoot it. He got upset, which is understandable. I'd be upset if it were my dog. I love mine like he's my son."
For the dog's owner, who buried Candy on his property this week, words cannot bring back his worker and best friend.
Rains County Sheriff David Traylor said the investigation is not over into this case. He previously stated that Dooley would not be eligible for re-hire.
Dooley has worked off-and-on in law enforcement dating back to 2006, according to records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. He started his law enforcement career as a jailer in Dallas County. He moved on to Quinlan Police Department in 2010, Fannin County Sheriff's Office in 2011-12, and the Rains County Sheriff's Office from 2013-14.
It is not known if Dooley will face charges for shooting Candy.
Candy's owner, Middleton, says he will never forget what happened, but he is beginning to forgive Dooley for his actions. He says his family has received financial donations from supporters and are hoping to start a non-profit to better train officers in how to deal with situations like this.