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Ex-Rains County deputy who shot dog pleads not guilty to felony animal cruelty

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The former Rains County deputy fired for shooting a family dog, then refusing to humanely end its life has pleaded not guilty. Fox KDFW reported June 19.

Ex-deputy Jerrod Dooley and his lawyer entered the plea June 18 in a Rains County courtroom. His next appearance will be at a pre-trial hearing on July 17.

Examiner coverage of this dog shot by police shooting can be found following this article.

The ex-deputy was charged with felony animal cruelty after an investigation turned up conflicting reports on what Dooley said happened, and evidence to back up Candy being shot from behind.

Owners Cole and Jayna Middleton began this tragedy, which began in late April, of how Candy was shot in the back of the head by Dooley. Despite pleas by Cole to put Candy out of her misery, Dooley did nothing, forcing Cole to strangle his dog to death to end her suffering.

After having Candy exhumed and a necropsy performed, it was learned Candy was shot in the back of the head. This conflicted with Dooley's report Candy was "attacking" when he fired his weapon.

Public outcry began as the story went viral. Dog lovers worldwide petitioned for the firing of Deputy Dooley, who soon lost his job. Sheriff David Traylor stated Dooley has been terminated from the Rains County Sheriff's Department for safety reasons.

The situation heated up even more after the dashcam video was released, showing Dooley and another officer making face and hand gestures for the camera while Cole Middleton was inconsolable over the death of his dog.

The fact that Dooley has only been charged with animal cruelty is amazing. It's considered a crime if a private citizen falsifies a police report. Shouldn't Dooley also be held accountable for lying in a government report, which is what he did when he said Candy attacked him.

This case could drag into the summer, as it will be tough to find anyone sympathetic to Dooley and his murder of a family member.

Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

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