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Update: Deputy who shot family dog hires attorney

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Rains Co (KYTX) --  The East Texas deputy fired for shooting a family's dog a week ago has hired a lawyer. Rains County Sheriff David Traylor tells CBS19 an attorney claiming to represent Jerrod Dooley called the office this morning.

According to the Rains County District Attorney's Office, Dooley enlisted legal representation from Dallas attorney Pete Shulte. He released this statement: "Deputy Dooley is heartbroken over this situation and renews his apology to Mr. Middleton for the shooting of his dog Candy. This is a horrible situation for any police officer, especially for an officer in a small tight-nit community. As a former police officer, I have reviewed the in-car video and do understand that many citizens may have questions about this incident. I want to assure the public that those questions will be answered soon but in my professional opinion this unfortunate shooting was justified based on the evidence. I hope that many lessons will be learned from this situation moving forward so hopefully this type of situation can be prevented in the future."

Cole Middleton, the dog's owner, also tells CBS19 he and his wife plan to hire an attorney. They are looking at all options, since Candy was not only a family pet, but a working dog. They tell us there is a financial loss with her death.





The East Texas sheriff's deputy under harsh criticism for shooting a family's dog-- has been fired today as a result of the incident.

It all happened when Jerrod Dooley was responding to a burglary call over stolen guns at the family's home.

Candy, the cow dog, was the pride and joy of the Middleton family. Dooley admitted to shooting Candy last Friday under the impression she was about to attack him. The dog's necropsy report from a Hopkins County Veterinarian determined Candy was shot in the back of the head, and was retreating, not advancing at the shooter.

An angry firestorm of criticism has since descended upon the Rains County Sheriff's Department.

 "There's been threats toward him, threats to the department and everything," Sheriff David Traylor said. 
He hasn't taken those threats lightly and says, as of Thursday, Dooley is no longer with the department.

 "His reputation is already ruined and he's not going to be able to fulfill his job out there. I think he made probably a bad choice," Traylor said.

The Sheriff's office has gotten calls as far as Thailand. Traylor says all of the negative publicity is making it hard to get work done on the investigation into the incident.

 "I've been in law enforcement 27 years, and I've never had this occur or anything like this occur," Traylor said.
Candy's owner Cole Middleton says the firing is some consolation.

"Nothing will ever fill that void," Middleton said.
He says Dooley's justification for shooting Candy was that he'd been bit by a dog before.

"That does not give him the right to come into my yard and shoot my dog," Middleton said.

Middleton is still haunted by having to do the unthinkable-- putting his devoted sidekick out of her misery himself-- because the bullet didn't kill her immediately.
"You want her to die as quickly as possible, because she's obviously suffering, badly," Middleton said.
He's still pushing for Dooley to face criminal charges. If that a potential criminal case is presented to the Rains County District Attorney's office, that office issued a statement saying the case won't receive any special treatment.
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