ETX man forgives former deputy for shooting his dog

Candy, the dog who was killed in the incident. (Source: KLTV News staff)
Candy, the dog who was killed in the incident. (Source: KLTV News staff)
Published: Jun. 12, 2014 at 2:52 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2014 at 2:53 AM CDT
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EMORY, TX (KLTV) - In late April of 2013, KLTV 7 showed you video of Rains County Deputy Jerod Dooley responding to a burglary call at the home of Cole Middleton outside of Emory.

In the video, Middleton's dog Candy can be seen barking at Dooley, before jumping out of the back of Middleton's truck. Next, gunshots are heard, along with Candy's whining.

Dooley was indicted for animal cruelty, and was arrested on May 27th. He later bonded out of jail.

Now Middleton is moving forward by promoting legislation he calls "Candy's Law."

Middleton now has a new puppy named Dotty, who came from a litter of puppies that belong to his uncle.

"I think I can devote myself fully to another one," Middleton said. "And I wanted to wait because I wouldn't want one until I could fully give myself to one just like I did with Candy.

A memorial for Candy sits just feet away from where she was shot. It reminds Middleton of his mission to keep others from experiencing his heartbreak.

"To keep Candy from dying in vain," Middleton said. "I think it will be so enriching to get a law passed to save other peoples animals. The legislation that we are proposing is a course that is currently adopted by the city of Fort Worth."

The course is called K-9 Encounter Training for Texas Peace Officers. It's a course that teaches peace officers how to respond in situations involving dogs.

"It's a no brainer," Middleton said. "Democrat, Republican, no excuse. I mean, let's pass it. It's common sense."

Middleton says Candy's Law is part of his healing process, along with forgiving Candy's shooter. He and his wife say they want to keep things positive, but still want justice for their dog.

K-9 Encounter Training for Texas Peace Officers is already an approved course by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Middleton wants the course to be included in the continuing education hours required for peace officers. He's asking people to write their state representative to help get "Candy's Law" passed. 

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