A third generation dairy farmer in Rains County, Texas, is mourning the loss of his best friend and work partner after a deputy shot his dog while responding to a report of a break-in at the residence.
The deputy claims the 2-year-old blue heeler, named Candy, charged him, threatening his safety. The dog’s owner, Cole Middleton, says police allowed him to review the dash cam footage of the incident — and he says that’s not what the video shows.
Middleton told KDFW-TV that he was on his tractor and Candy was in the bed of his truck when the deputy arrived on his property. The barking dog then jumped down and Middleton lost sight of her.
Moments later, the deputy delivered the heartbreaking news.
“The officer comes down and says, ‘Sir, I'm sorry, I shot your dog -- she charged me,’” Middleton recalled in an emotional interview. “I became very hysterical and very upset…I said, ‘No, no, no…you shot my baby.’”
After the deputy called for backup, Middleton pulled out his cellphone and started recording the officers as they attempted to sort out the situation.
“What I'm saying is the man pulls up without cause and shoots my dog,” Middleton can be heard telling officers in the video.
“Your dog charged me, buddy,” the deputy replies.
“No, no,” Middleton shoots back.
“I got it on dash cam man; your dog charged me,” the deputy claims.
"You're invading her property, but she wouldn't bite you! she's never bitten anybody!" the man shouts.
Watch the video recorded by Middleton below (WARNING: Some disturbing content):
Middleton and another unidentified man in the video try to get the deputy to explain why he didn't just stay in the car if he was afraid of the dog.
The man also revealed in the video that he had to drown his own dog to put her out of her misery because the officer didn't shoot in a way that killed her. In the video, Middleton claims his gun was stolen so he couldn't shoot Candy to put her out of her misery -- and the deputy refused to.
Middleton claims he had his dog’s body examined by a veterinarian and the results “suggest Candy was shot while retreating from the shooter.” Further, as reported above, the farmer claims the dash cam video does not back up what the deputy claims happened.
Read the alleged autopsy results from the Hopkins County Veterinary Clinic:
Rains County Sheriff David Traylor told KDFW-TV that he “regrets” the incident and his department is investigating. The deputy involved is reportedly on administrative leave.
A Facebook page, titled "Justice for Candy Middleton," has been created to raise awareness in the case. It had about 15,000 likes on Wednesday.
"The Autopsy is in and the results are just like we've been saying!!! See for yourself!! She was shot in the back if the head," reads one post. "The bullet exited the front of her face!!! No charges have been filed yet!! Ridiculous!!! As per the sheriff, Dooley WASNT even trained to use a tazer!! Unbelievable !!!"