Gregg Co. deputies learning how to deal with animals on the job in wake of Dooley case

Published: Oct. 17, 2014 at 1:21 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2014 at 1:24 AM CDT
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GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A case of a dog that was shot by an East Texas sheriff's deputy is now serving as a lesson to other officers.

Back in April, we first told you about Rains County deputy Jarrod Dooley, who shot a homeowner's dog while responding to a burglary call. Dooley claimed the dog was about to attack him.

Last month, animal cruelty charges were dropped against Dooley, but he was ordered to surrender his peace officer's license. In the wake of that incident, a new instructional class is being given to some East Texas officers to learn how to deal with similar situations more reasonably.

At the Gregg County Sheriff's Office, numerous deputies and other officers were instructed in a class called 'Dogs and Police. Shoot or Don't Shoot.'

"It's given me a little bit better understanding of how to approach dogs and other animals. Hopefully it will benefit the patrol officers when they're out in the field making a dog call," says Gregg County lieutenant William Drennan.

The class was developed by workers at the SPCA in response to Dooley's shooting of a dog in April.

"I think it would be good for every officer in the state maybe in their basic academy. Get a better understanding of how to handle situations," says Lieutenant Kirk Haddix.

The class is focused on putting officers in a better position to make a decision when faced with a similar situation.

"Hopefully be able to handle the situation where deadly force is not necessary. The owner needs to take responsibility for that animal," Drennan says.

Video of officers responding properly and improperly were used as teaching tools, and for even experienced officers, much of it was eye-opening.

"It is shocking to see how some officers when they first roll up to see the attitudes they have," says Drennan.

The class is not required training for Texas officers yet, but the SPCA is urging the Texas legislature to make it required training for all Texas law enforcement agencies.

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