WATCH: Sheriff’s Deputy Fired After Shooting Family Dog on Texas Farm

April 25, 2014

The sheriff’s deputy accused of fatally shooting an east Texas man’s dog last week was fired Thursday, authorities said.

“That is a step in the right direction,” the dog’s owner, Cole Middleton, 25, told the Daily News. “Had it not been for the overwhelming support and the media picking up on this story, it could have got swept under the rug.”

The officer responded to a burglary at Middleton’s ranch in Rains County last Friday. But when the stranger got out of his car, Middleton’s blue healer Candy started barking and jumped from the back of Middleton’s truck.

The deputy, identified by Middleton as Jerred Dooley, says he had to fire a bullet into Candy’s head because she charged him.

Farmer Cole Middleton fishes with his trusty pal by his side. Candy would stay with her owner all day, every day. They were — in a word — inseparable.

Middleton collapsed by Candy’s side upon hearing the news and was forced to put her out of her misery with his own hands. She was losing blood quickly and suffering so much that there’s no way she would’ve survived.

Now Middleton wants justice.

“Shoot first, ask questions later is a dangerous way to conduct yourself as a police officer,” he said. “A deadly weapon is your only way out? That thought alone is terrifying.”

The only silver-linings are the deputy’s termination and the outpouring of support Middleton has received since the story got picked up by the media.

“It’s just the wind behind mine and my wife’s sails,” he said. “It’s what gets us up out of the bed every morning.”

Middleton blasted the deputy as someone who feels he can do whatever he wants without repercussion. He wants local authorities to show that no one is above the law by prosecuting one of their own.

He wants Dooley charged with animal cruelty and trespassing for allegedly opening the door to his home without permission.

“If it was anyone else,” he said. “I can assure you they would be charged.”