Sheriff Fires Texas Deputy Who Shot Dog During Burglary Call

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Candy Middleton
Candy Middleton

We previously discussed a disturbing report of a family pet shot by Rains County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerrod Dooley, HERE. The incident stemmed when homeowner Cole Middleton arrived home about 11:00 AM and discovered his residence had been burglarized and several items, including all his firearms were stolen. Several hours later, while Cole was working in a field harvesting grass, Deputy Dooley arrived. The deputy then claimed he was threatened by Cole Middleton’s cow dog Candy when she darted out from a pickup truck and was shot. Despite being begged by Cole to put down Candy to end her suffering, Deputy Dooley instead calls for help and pulls back in his patrol car to wait for “backup”. Cole, having no firearms to perform a coup de grâce, suffered the terror of having to drown Candy in a bucket to end it for her.

Jerrod Dooley
Deputy Jerrod Dooley

Newly released dash cam video capturing much of the incident shows Deputy Dooley arriving at the residence and pulling behind a pickup truck. Candy is lying down in the bed of the truck and when the patrol vehicle pulls up she stands and begins barking with tail wagging. Candy continues to bark and then jumps out of the bed and is subsequently shot by Deputy Dooley. Shortly thereafter, Cole walks up and Deputy Dooley informs him that he had to shoot his dog. Cole is understandably distressed yet the deputy calls for backup saying he needs “help” and is shown backing out of the driveway.

Sheriff David Traylor fired Deputy Dooley and later stated to a KLTV reporter that it was for Dooley’s safety because of numerous threats made against him and the department. He added that it is the safest move for the department and the deputy.

In the three decades Sheriff Traylor stated he was in law enforcement, he had never seen a department receive so many threats from a single incident. Ultimately he said thas was the reason Dooley was fired. The hundreds of calls from outraged citizens was beginning to detract from other responsibilities the department is charged with and Sheriff Traylor believed having Dooley on the force put he and other deputies at risk. Dooley had been employed for six months. The sheriff confirmed that a criminal investigation into the shooting is underway and is headed by the Texas Rangers.

Sheriff David Traylor
Sheriff David Traylor

Sheriff Traylor stated his department is implementing policy changes he hopes will reduce the likelihood of a similar tragedy reoccurring; such as waiting in the car if possible or honking a horn to have the dog’s owner to come by and address the dog. But the sheriff was pragmatic about these policies by adding “you can put the policies out there and follow them as best you can…but it will be a matter of common sense.”

Candy’s owner Cole Middleton said he is glad that Deputy Dooley was fired and still hoped there would be a criminal prosecution for the shooting.

One reason for Deputy Dooley’s sudden departure from the Rains County Sheriff’s Office might be that as a six month employee, he is likely on probation and in this respect is subject to termination at the pleasure of the sheriff before a civil service tenure is afforded him. During the probationary time it gives the department an opportunity to vet the employee for suitability for a career with the department.

In the opinion of your author, the decision of Sheriff Traylor was sound. Deputy Dooley in this incident displayed a fundamental lack of proper discretion in dealing with a use of force issue and when faced with a despondent person (Cole Middleton) over having shot his dog, Dooley chose to call for “Help” and flee the scene. Calling for Help in the law enforcement world is a far more urgent distress call than calling for “backup”. Such a call, paired up with him backing out of the scene, will cause responding officers to believe a dire threat is being faced by the calling officer. This causes responding officers to respond faster and puts them at a higher risk and takes them away from even other in-progress calls. This type of incident was not something that Deputy Dooley should have backed out of. It is very indicative of future performances where he is going to be likely one who will call for help / backup at the drop of a hat and in a rural county environment where he will seldom be partnered up with another deputy, he likely is not suited to be a deputy sheriff.

He also showed cowardice in not wanting to face the situation of putting down Candy when decency and the law demanded the coup de grâce mercy be given. And how quick will he have been to shoot another animal or person when faced with a difficult situation where the use of a firearm is clearly not warranted otherwise. Jarrod Dooley’s actions are indicative that it is not worth the risk in him being afforded the duties of a deputy sheriff.

It seems clear that in some measure, the Middleton family will see some justice in the matter.

By Darren Smith


Rains County Sheriff’s Office (Photo Credit)

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

113 thoughts on “Sheriff Fires Texas Deputy Who Shot Dog During Burglary Call”

  1. Its a sad day when this country will find themselves in an uproar over a dog but not support the man whose only crime was answering a call for help and getting out of his car then protecting his body from a dog that should have been put away. Its even more sad when it gets to the point of national and a man fired. Even more tragic is that nobody bothered to support the man that was there to serve and protect but would rather prosecute him for drawing his gun to protect himself from harm. The crusher is that it reminds me of all those that serve and protect our country that didn’t get paid a couple months ago and nobody called to threaten those in charge for that. Nobody bothered to say poor soldiers, they were more worried about their foodstamps. Everybody screams for justice but it seems nobody will support it. Step back people and look for the real justice instead of being just another zombie following the line, that behavior is no better than those we send soldiers to protect elsewhere in the world.

  2. Marlin Starr

    The comment you furnished above got picked up by moderation due to having more than two hyperlinks. I de-referenced the last one so that it would post here.

    If you have more than two links you can always post the extra ones in an additional comment.

    Thank you for your comment


  3. Here is what is bothering me.
    1: Cole had to go to the sheriff not at his office but at his house the day after the shooting by his deputy. We are not talking about a county of millions of people; we are talking about one of the smallest county’s in Texas. Cole went to the sheriff, not the sheriff coming to him. This, in a small community the sheriff is the last person I would like to have investigate the truth A police shooting by one of his own. How on earth can he be impartial, and neutral in this investigation in such a small county where it is like “Cheers” every body knows your name and business? 2: the way the sheriff is wording his statement it leads me to believe that he is he would like nothing more then to sweep this under the rug and not to allow it to blow back on him. In my opinion it is not a good thing to have the department guilty of the shooting to investigate it. 3: in the video I can see a Rains county sheriff’s deputy, State of Texas deputy, Wood County Deputy, and Ok Question why the hell is a captain in flack gear from Emory miles outside of his jurisdiction there. It is my own opinion that the only way to investigate this properly is having an outside department to do the investigation. The only ones not at the crime scene is the Texas Rangers. 4: No Law enforcement contact with Cole at all, since Wednesday when Cole Middleton went to the Sheriffs office to see the dash cam footage there has been no contact with him. No one has contacted him, his father, or the neighbor as witnesses to this crime. No Law enforcement has called him to tell him they are investigating this crime as a Victim of a senseless crime carried out by his deputy. Texas Rangers need to take this case, if for nothing else to save Texas as a whole from being shamed. The total lack of professionalism, total disregard for Cole as a citizen and his 4th amendment rights being violated officer mocking him and his father. Pushing them around on his property before the camera was rolling also needs to be looked into also. This is a bad time for Texas. It will get worse if the rangers do not ride to the rescue. The people of the United States of America the citizens of the USA along with people around the world are watching very closely what is happening to Cole Middleton in Texas.

    The Justice for Candy Middleton face book page is reaching one million views online and 30,000 followers. And growing at a rate of 2,00 to 5,000 a day

    The gofundme site has been able to raised over $14,000 this is a drop in the bucket of what is needed for the Middleton Family.

    The petition site has over 9000 signatures and if you want proof that the world is watching look at the comments in the petition site above 9000+ from around the world. It is time for Texas to step up and protect it’s people. The world is behind Cole now, Governor and Texas Rangers what are you going to do?

    as soon as Cole Middleton Has News He will let all know. when you are the Black box of silence and no one will talk to you at all you can report nothing is being done that the Middleton s Know of. all it would take is a phone call saying we are doing all we can to help you Cole Middleton. He has not received any phone calls #justiceforcandy #animalabuse #justicefordojie #animalcruelty

  4. Dorks with cowboy hats should not be Sheriffs. Each cop who shoots a dog needs a bullet in his own fanny. Firing this ickDayhead is not enough. You Texas folks act like your tough yet no one has gotten even with this perp yet.

  5. That’s Shuler without the “c” — and thank you! Always enjoy your take even if I don’t always agree. Have a great night.

  6. And I really like Annie, too — so smart and funny! OK, there are others too but I will stop here… 🙂 Good night all.

  7. p.s. and randyjet! I disagree with randyjet a bit more often than I agree with him, but always enjoy his take.

  8. Sorry, my previous comment was in response to Paul. My lack of commenting is apparent in my amateur abilities!

    This comment is in response to Nick.

    I know the mega-commenter and poster Mike left this past January and that was a big deal. As for the other commenters you indicate, I must admit I haven’t noticed others as of the past couple weeks beyond Paul. Depending on various factors, I spend more or less time online and I haven’t been online so much the past few weeks due to the needs my boss has: she has brain cancer and our day-to-day activities fluctuate all the time depending on her status. So when I do check in, I mostly notice the comments of those I’m most familiar with like Jonathan Turley, Nick, Elaine, Darren, rafflaw, Charlton and some other familiars. I am now checking in after a couple of weeks “away” from the blog and got defensive after reading Paul’s comments, which I found more disruptive than thoughtful.

    p.s. There are so many other excellent regular commenters here that I didn’t reference but I’m not good with remembering names or handles. But I soooo appreciate this blog and all its commenters.

  9. Paul, I, like yourself, have bit my tongue until it bleeds @ times. I have learned over my 6 decades on this earth you never get credit for biting your tongue, because you alone are aware of it. I ran the same gauntlet as you when I got here, and believe me it was nastier. I had a mentor who has since died. Being in the minority is challenging on a daily basis. But, it has improved, the archives bear out that fact. It will continue to improve, I believe that. You are part of the future, and the “future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

  10. Thank you for your generous response and thoughtful tone — nothing less than what I typically experience on this website and is exactly the spirit of discussion and understanding I was referring to and that this site is all about and deserves to keep.

    I never called you troll in the same technical sense I suppose that you call someone “stupid” but yet you’re “not hateful.” Please.

    I’m glad you responded as well and hope we can carry on with spirited and respectful debate from here! Have a great weekend!

  11. SchulerC, I see you came out of your silence and commented on another thread also. Welcome to the commenting community. I hope you continue to comment, we share a love of this blog and the diverse opinions. Your picking out Paul as the problem is certainly curious. Like myself, he is in the minority here. I have gotten the same “requests” from others. Being a follower of this blog for 2 years you know there was a seismic shift in January. There have been many aftershocks. The past few days there have been 2 incredibly disruptive people. I have learned to evaluate people’s motives not by only what they say and do, but what they don’t say or do. You said nothing to them.

  12. I’ve been reading for several years without commenting. Trust me, I’m not that concerned about you other than you are diminishing my experience on this intelligent blog. That is why I commented. I guess I should have stuck to the “Do not feed the trolls” rule and not said anything to you. In America, often our culture seems to struggle with conformity and may not cultivate enough critical thinking and debate. There are a precious few wonderful oases like this website where one can witness solid thinking by reasonable, intelligent people. You certainly are free to be the detractor troll of this website.

    1. Shuler – if you have been following along then you must be aware of the people who have been attacking me. I do respond to trolls, but I am not sure if that makes me a troll. I will think about that. And I am distressed that you think that responding to me is feeding the trolls. I made a cogent point to a comment you made. That is not trolling. And then you had a comment which I did not respond to and then a longer piece trying to counsel me.

      Still you are welcome to your opinion. I am happy as a clam to just debate the issues, but invariably someone takes some potshot at me because I don’t adhere to groupspeak. In our limited conversations, you have called me a troll.

      You have no idea how much I hold my tongue with some of the people on here. There is a great chasm between what I think and what I actually type. And at this point it would not make any difference if I suddenly converted to liberalism, there are people on here who would still attack me.
      Now, I am of the opinion that if one reads something regularly, unless one agrees with it, one should get involved in the debate. Is that how you have been operating? Because, to my mind, if you disagree, you should jump in. The more the merrier. Personally, I am glad you posted your comments, regardless.

  13. Sorry all, this is off topic. Paul, why are you so hateful to all the thoughtful long-time commenters here? And then you perversely top it off with smiley faces. Wish you would abide by the unspoken rules of the civil and very intelligent commenters here. If you won’t abide by their unwritten online society rules, maybe you’ll eventually be booted off due to technical requirements of this website. But won’t you re-consider your tone? You’re obviously intelligent and have lot to offer. Can’t you do so without insulting people?

    1. Shuler – it is off topic and I am not hateful to anyone. I don’t agree with a lot of the commentors on here, but I usually treat others better than I have been treated. How long have you been on here? This is the first time I remember seeing your (or this) name.

      There are written Rules of Civility and commenting on someones sources is within bounds. Some people I have lovely conversations with. Some people I have an arms-length relationship with. A couple of people showed up last week whose only purpose was to attack me. Even those I tried to deal with politely, but sometimes polite does not work.
      As Darren would say, you are free to ignore anything I write, there are people who do and then comment on what they think I said.
      I do appreciate your concern though. Still there are others you need to offer that advice to as well.

  14. Paul

    You are correct in the sense about Ego being a problem with some officers. In my experience it is the number one root cause of why most get into trouble. The largest general causes of career ending moves are as follows:

    1) Ego
    2) Stupidity
    3) Sex (mostly from boneheadedness from illicit relationships or the fallout from psycho girlfriends or their own philandering)
    4) Alcohol
    5) Lies, untruthfulness, or breaking the law.
    6) Financial Issues or Money.

    Often times there are more than one cause per career limiting move.

    One LEO I knew had to drive to another part of the state to participate in some training classes. He drove his department patrol car to the city the night before, rented a hotel room, then went to the bar(s) and got hammered. The next morning he drove to where the training was being held (I think it was a DUI enforcement class but I don’t remember for sure). Lo and behold, someone noticed he had booze on his breath and the instructor told him to blow into a PBT. He was over the legal limit, meaning he drove in a county patrol car to the training while drunk. The sheriff wasn’t happy. He eventually lost his job. So both 2) and 4) were violated.

    Another incident another guy I worked with told me about when he was at the police academy. The academy itself is located about 7 or so miles south of a high prostitution area. One of his classmates (recruits) one late afternoon thought he would like to “get a little” from a hooker and drove out to the strip. He drove up to a prostitute wearing his academy BDUs and propositioned her. The prostitute told him she doesn’t do guys from the academy. The recruit insisted saying it didn’t matter, he wasn’t going to tell. The prostitute said something to the effect of “trust me, you don’t want to do this. Just turn around and head back.” Undeterred, the recruit insisted, offering her $20. So, she gave the signal and the vice squad arrested him. The vice squad called his tac-officer at the acadamy, who called his chielf of police, and he was fired less than an hour later. 1) 2) 3) and 5) violated.

    Some guys don’t need a psychological evaluation to determine whether or not they are unfit for duty. Because, you cannot teach the stupid. 🙂

  15. Given the large amount of citizens that own animals, why aren’t law enforcement officers given basic training on dealing with animals? Or are they?

    1. Shuler – I think the officer is now making the claim that he was not ‘properly trained.’

  16. Bottom line: he was a pussy that couldn’t wait to fire his gun in situation where the victim couldn’t defend itself or have any redress as a non-human animal. Disgusting. When people have a gun it’s like they have a hammer and everything looks like a nail.

  17. This is what an aggressive dog looks like. Body straight, back of the mouth drawn forward. Front teeth showing. Tail down ears laid back. Even Cesar Milan can’t control a truly aggressive dog. Officers should be trained to look for these signs. Not tail wagging and ears up and yapping to announce the arrival of a visitor.

  18. This is pitiful. How can any officer in his/her right mind shoot a dog in the back of the head, not killing it instantly and refuse to put it out of its misery even though the owner is begging. The owner had to drown the poor animal to put her out of her misery. That is very cruel to the owner. The sheriff was right to fire this officer. But as you can clearly see in this video the dog is wagging its tail. I was about in tears when the dog was screaming off camera on the dash cam video. Justice needs to be served for this man and his family. To his credit the sheriff he has turned the case over to the Texas Rangers for a possible criminal investigation. I pray this officer gets criminally charged. May the family find peace somehow. Officers must learn the signs of an aggressive dog. A wagging tail isn’t aggressive. In my opinion the officer showed cowardice. If he can’t handle a dog that is wagging its tail barking, he shouldn’t be in that line of work.

    The dog was just trying to let her owner know somebody was there. Every country dog is going to bark at anyone that comes up on the property. An Officer in Texas certainly ought to know that.

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