Former Rains County Deputy Jerrod Dooley has been indicted on an animal cruelty charge after shooting a beloved family dog while on the job last month. According to Fox 4 News, Dooley was fired for shooting and killing a dog during a burglary call last month.
WFAA stated that Dooley, 32, has been charged with a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years behind bars. The former Rains County Deputy was fired within days of the incident after Cole Middleton, the owner of the two-year-old Australian blue heeler, went public with his story, quickly gaining national attention.
“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,” said Pete Schulte, Dooleys’ attorney. “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.”
While responding to the the burglary call on April 19th at a farm in Point, Texas, Dooley said that the dog wasn’t acting aggressive when he first arrived. It wasn’t until after Dooley got out of his car that the dog jumped from the back of Middleton’s truck, and allegedly charged him.
A dash cam video caught most of the incident on video, and the dog can be seen jumping from the truck after Dooley, and shots can be heard shortly after. The actual shooting of the dog wasn’t caught on the video, though the dog’s cries can be heard. According to WFAA, Dooley did confront Middleton and told him flat out that he shot the dog.
“Partner, you’re about to be upset, but your dog charged me and I had to shoot it,” he said.
“My God, no! No! No! No!” Middleton screams.
“Calm down! Calm down!” Dooley tells him.
During an interview last month, Dooley explained why he shot the dog: “I tried, but I didn’t think I could get away from her,” he said haltingly. “I told her to ‘get back,’ she wouldn’t get back… and I fired two shots.”
Dooley’s story has since gone national, and he claims that both him and his son have received death threats as a result of incident.
“I can’t go to the grocery store without being recognized, pointed at, laughed at,” Dooley said. “Can’t pay my water bill without hearing my name, saying ‘There’s the sorry cop that killed the dog.’”
According to Fox 4 News, Dooley’s lawyer, Pete Schulte, has previously stated that he believed the shooting was justified, and that “Dooley’s lack of training from the department was a factor in the shooting.”
[Image via WFAA]