A Texas man called police to report that his home had been burglarized. The responding deputy arrived and promptly shot the man’s dog.
Last Friday morning, Cole Middleton arrived home around 11 to find that his home had been broken into. His guns and iPad were stolen, along with his wife’s jewelry. He called 911.
Middleton, a farmer and cattle rancher, decided to help his grandfather harvest silage during the 2.5 hour wait for the police to arrive.
When Rains County Deputy Jerred Dooley finally showed up, Middleton and his father were working in a nearby field. The family’s little three-year-old Blue Heeler dog, Candy, ran to see who arrived on their property, like dogs typically do.
Middleton told KLTV what happened next:
“She’s barking when he pulls into the driveway letting me know someone’s at our house, an intruder is here, or a person who she would think was an intruder that she’s unfamiliar with. She’s barking. The officer gets out of his car, and all the while we’re headed up [there]. He gets out of his car and shoots my dog in my front yard.”
Middleton and his father both witnessed Dooley’s arrival on their property. They say the deputy stuck his head inside the door of the house, which was about 40 yards away from the field the in which the men were working. Candy jumped out of the back of the pickup truck she was sitting in, and ran towards the house, barking.
By the time Middleton and his father caught up with her, it was too late. She was dying of a gunshot wound to the head.
“I shot your dog, sorry,” said Dooley.
Middleton said Candy was shot behind her ear, which he believes means she was not facing the deputy.
That wound didn’t kill Candy, though, as Middleton explains:
“I was so upset. I went over there to her and she was still alive and I begged and pleaded with him to please shoot her again because I don’t have any firearms. They got stolen. He went and got in his vehicle and backed out of my driveway.
And then I had to do the unthinkable, the otherwise unthinkable. I had to kill my dog with my bare hands and put her out of her suffering, praying for this to be over with.”
Dooley went to his car and called for backup, and ordered Middleton and his father “do not approach” his vehicle.
PoliceStateUSA described what happened next:
According to the rancher’s account, 3 additional police officers arrived in separate vehicles. A state trooper named Hayes allegedly pulled up and immediately threatened the grieving family with a drawn taser.
Middleton described the four officers as “very intimidating” and decided that documentation was necessary and began filming the encounter with his cell phone. Video shows Trooper Hayes, with his weapon still drawn, mocking the victim by looking into the camera, saying: “Hi mom! Hi Channel 8! How you doing?”
“He pulls up to my place and shoots my damn cow dog,” an upset Mr. Middleton told the other officers. “The man pulled up without cause and shoots my dog.”
“I had no choice. I wasn’t gonna get bit,” Dooley attempted to explain.
Middleton documented the incident in a detailed Facebook account. “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,” he wrote. “Serve and Protect? More like Invade and Attack.”
Middleton and his wife Jayna buried Candy at the foot of a tree where they had spent time together.
“It’s just terrible,” Middleton said.
Rains County Sheriff David Traylor refused an on-camera interview with KLTV. He said the case is now being investigated by the Texas Rangers.
Why are cops so afraid of family dogs? There is not a single documented case of a law enforcement officer being killed by a dog. Yet, some groups have attempted to count how often dogs are killed by cops, and they estimate that a dog is shot by law enforcement every 98 minutes.
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