Jerrod Dooley, a former sheriff's deputy in Rains County recently fired, was indicted on Thursday for felony animal cruelty in the shooting of a family dog last month when he responded to a burglary call at the home of Cole Middleton reported kltv.com.
Dooley's defense attorney, Peter Schulte stated his client has not been arrested, and that this case has been politically motivated:
"This is clearly a political knee jerk reaction by the DA in Rains County and there’s no chance that this case will stand up in court. It’s a legal impossibility because he was acting within the scope of his employment as a public servant. We look forward to our day in court.”
On April 19, Deputy Dooley pulled up to Middleton's home; an Australian blue heeler named Candy sat in the back of his owner's truck. As Dooley exited from his squad car, a video shows Candy leaping out of the truck. The video did not show the deputy shooting the dog; a high pitched painful yelp from the dog was heard.
Dooley said he killed the dog in self defense because the dog would not retreat. Candy's owner said the dog was only coming over to greet him; the dog was a very friendly and happy guy.
Candy did not die immediately, and as the dog suffered and writhed in pain, Middleton begged the deputy to shoot the dog again and put him out of his misery. The deputy ignored him.
A necropsy, however showed that Candy had been hit in the back of the back of the head with the bullet exiting through the dog's eye. Did Candy retreat?
Dooley claims he is an animal lover, and that his dog is considered part of the family.
"Again we go back to training," stated Caryn Sisco, an avid animal advocate from Austin, Texas. "Our companion animals are so important to us - we no longer just accept what happens to them as the police and their representatives know best. Why aren't these people trained how to recognize the body language of dogs? This dog had to die, and this deputy's reputation is being challenged because there's something wrong with the way we train our officers. It just keeps happening over and over again, and there's still no changes being made."
If found guilty, Dooley could face two years in jail.
Rest in peace Candy.
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