Texas Deputy Fired for Shooting Family's 2-Year-Old Farm Dog

A sheriff's deputy responding to burglary report at a dairy in Rains County, Texas, approached the farmhouse and shot the family's dog while the homeowners rushed to meet him. The deputy has been fired, and the county may pursue criminal charges.

Cole Middleton, the farm owner, called sheriffs after someone broke into his home last Friday, stealing his iPad, his guns, and his wife's jewelry. Rains County deputy Jerrod Dooley responded to his call, and dashcam video from his car shows Candy the dog barking and jumping out of Middleton's truck.

Dooley then stepped out of the view of the camera, where he shot the dog in the back of the head. That's when Middleton, who was with his dad, driving a tractor over to meet the police car, arrived.

The dashcam caught their conversation.

"Partner, you're about to be upset, but your dog charged me and I had to shoot him."

"My God, no! No! No! No!"

"Calm down! Calm down!"

Middleton fell on top of Candy, who was still alive, whimpering and thrashing in pain. Because his guns had been stolen, and the officer refused to shoot the dog again, Middleton drowned her in a bucket of water.

"I did the unimaginable, but it had to be done so she could go home," he told WFAA-TV.

Meanwhile, Dooley headed back to his car and called for backup. When other officers, including deputies from a neighboring county, showed up, Middleton started recording this video:

Dooley claimed he shot the dog because she charged him, and he had been bitten by a dog on the job years earlier. He was fired Thursday, and Sheriff David Traylor says an investigation will determine whether he'll face criminal charges.

Candy wasn't just a family pet, she was also a working dog who served a valuable role wrangling cows at Middleton's dairy.

"I'd say 'Candy! Go this way to the right!'" Middleton told WFAA, "and she'd go gather them to the right. She'd look back at me the whole time like, 'Daddy, what do I need to do?' I could whistle and tell her, 'Go to the left, you forgot one.' And she'd go all the way back."

[Photo: Justice for Candy Middleton/Facebook]