RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Charges of animal cruelty were dropped against former Rains County deputy Jerrod Dooley Thursday afternoon, as part of a plea agreement.
The charges come from an incident in April 2014, when Dooley shot a dog while responding to a burglary call in Emory. As part of the agreement, Dooley surrendered his law enforcement license. He says after the way he was treated, he couldn't see himself putting on a badge again.
Five months after the shooting, Dooley still thinks about Candy the dog.
"I still hear her yelp from time to time," Dooley said. "I still think about it a great deal, and I'll probably think about that forever."
He says people who think he wasn't affected when he shot her, are wrong.
"I don't want anybody thinking I'm some kind of monster, because that's not me at all," Dooley said. "I hurt over shooting that dog. I honestly hurt over shooting that dog."
Dooley says he's not a violent person, especially toward animals. But he still maintains that his experience as an SPCA investigator, when another dog attacked him, forced him to react the way that he did, when Candy jumped out of the back of Cole Middleton's truck.
"When I was attacked as an investigator for the SPCA, it was a very severe attack," Dooley said. "My left rib cage was ripped open. It's sorta like when you're a kid, and you burn your hand on the stove...you don't want that to happen again."
Dooley spent most of his time in law enforcement on drug cases, and says he's proud of his record. But he says after shooting Candy, people starting treating him differently.
"I went from one day, everybody patting me on the back, thanking me for getting drugs off the street," Dooley said, "and it was just like a switch flipped, and they just wanted to be rid of me."
That's why Dooley says he's at peace with the decision to give up his law enforcement license. He says it wasn't just people in the community who turned their back on him.
"I don't believe I can put the badge and uniform back on, and go out and fight for something I really wholeheartedly don't believe in at this time," Dooley said. "That's the way I feel after the way I was done throughout this process. It put a little distrust in my mind for the justice system, the way it is."
Now that the charges against him are dropped, Dooley says he feels like he can finally move forward, and find a new career. He's hoping the Middleton family can move forward too.
As part of the agreement, if Jerrod Dooley tries to apply for a law enforcement license again, he will be prosecuted for animal cruelty.