Cole Middleton's dog, Candy (Source: Family photo)
RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
An East Texas man says a deputy responding to a burglary call shot his dog on Friday morning. The incident happened in the 6800 block of Farm to Market 514 in Rains County.
Cole Middleton was doing some repairs at his family’s dairy farm while his wife Jayna was shopping. He got home around 11 a.m. and discovered his house had been burglarized. Middleton says his guns, iPad and his wife’s jewelry had been taken.
Middleton called 911 and eventually took over harvesting silage from his grandfather. He and his father were in a nearby field when law enforcement arrived.
Middleton said when the deputy arrived to investigate, the deputy claimed the dog was about to bite him and shot the dog to defend himself.
“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 recalled.
Middleton says the dog was shot in the head. He begged the deputy to finish off his cowdog named Candy since the dog was suffering.
“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,” Middleton explained.
Middleton had trained Candy to be a cow dog, and Middleton says his dog was a natural.
“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,” Middleton said.
Middleton said other law enforcement arrived and started asking questions.
“They then asked well whose blood is on your shirt. That is the blood of my dog that I was holding because this deputy pulled up and shot her in my yard. Then the tasers were put away and the pistols withdrawn,” Middleton stated.
Middleton says he then filed the burglary report with the Rains County Sheriff’s Department.
Middleton 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 declined an on-camera interview, saying the case is now being investigated by the Texas Rangers.