An East Texas dairy farmer said a sheriff’s deputy shot his dog while taking a report of a robbery at his home Friday.
Cole Middleton, of Point, Texas, posted the details of the allegations, along with video, on the Justice for Candy Middleton Facebook page. Middleton said Rains County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerred Dooley shot his dog, Candy, because the officer believed the canine was going to bite him. Middleton said he had to “take my poor baby’s life with my own hands,” because the deputy wouldn’t shoot the dog again to put it out of its misery.
“When we call on peace officers for their help and assistance we expect them to serve and protect us, especially if we are the victims. In this instance service and protection became an invasion and an attack that led to a life altering experience that will regrettably never be forgotten and cost my family a very precious and valuable member,” Cole and his wife, Jayna, wrote on the page Monday.
Cole Middleton said the incident began when he discovered his home had been robbed Friday and that valuable items and guns were taken from his house. Middleton said he called the Rains County Sheriff’s Office to notify them of the burglary, and that Dooley arrived about 2 ½ hours later to take a report of the crime.
He said Candy was lying on the bed of his truck parked next to his house and started barking at Dooley’s vehicle as Middleton and his father were in the pasture harvesting their winter crops. Candy got out of the truck and continued to bark at Dooley as Middleton and his father honked the horns of their tractors to let the sheriff’s deputy know they were on their way to meet him.
Middleton said he and his father saw Dooley “open the doors to my house and stick his head inside without cause or permission.” He said Dooley then closed the doors and told him, “I shot your dog. Sorry.”
“He told me this as I’m approaching the fence from my tractor. He shot Candy behind her ear, in the side of her head, in HER YARD. OBVIOUSLY SHE WAS NOT FACING HIM AS THE ENTRY POINT WAS BEHIND HER EAR!!!UNREAL!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!! REMEMBER I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS ROBBED!!! So he was there to HELP ME! “Serve and Protect?” More like ‘Invade and Attack,’” he wrote on the Facebook page.
Dooley then retreated to his squad car and said over loudspeakers for Middleton and his father not to approach his vehicle, according to Middleton. The East Texas dairy farmer said he begged Dooley to shoot his dog again because Candy was “yelping and thrashing in unbearable pain” and his guns had been stolen.
“I then had to do the otherwise unthinkable and take my poor baby’s life with my own hands while praying for this to be over with,” Middleton said.
The dairy farmer said two state troopers and officers with the Emory City Police Department then arrived at his home. One of the officers took out his Taser and had his hand on his gun as Middleton and his father tried to explain the situation. That’s when Middleton started taking video of the incident, which you can view here.
“All of them together were VERY INTIMIDATING TO INNOCENT victims,” Middleton wrote. “The only thing I knew to do was grab my video camera phone and capture this because here again ‘protect and serve’ was apparently invade and attack. After informing the officers I had a camera and was going to film, for my own sake, the Wood County State Trooper Hayes begins to MOCK me and wave at my camera. He then unprofessionally says ‘Hi mom! Hi Channel 8! How you doing?’ This IS NOT A JOKE. THIS IS SERIOUS. I HAVE THE VIDEO! After several minutes of my father and I trying to explain to them that WE ARE THE VICTIMS the State Troopers ask, ‘So whose house got broke into? Whose blood is on your shirt?’ SHOULDN’T THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN AWARE OF THAT???”
Middleton said he eventually explained that it was his house that was burglarized and that the blood on his shirt came from his dog.
“Only then does the mocking stop, the tazer put away, and hands off the pistols (with the exception of Officer Hayes who continued to want to keep his hand on his gun because it’s ‘comfortable’),” he wrote.
Middleton then gave a report to an officer “about my dog being erroneously shot in cold blood.”
The Facebook page set up to explain the incident had more than 4,600 likes as of Tuesday afternoon. Middleton said Monday the support for his family “is overwhelming.”