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East Texas Sheriff's Office Threatened Following Dog's Shooting

POINT, Texas (KRLD) -- The Rains County Sheriffs Department has received threats from across the world after a deputy shot and killed a man's dog last week.

The officer responsible for the shooting has been terminated by the department.

Cole Middleton is a dairy farmer in Point, a city 70 miles east of Dallas.

Middleton On KRLD

Last week, Middleton called the Rains County Sheriffs Department after discovering that his home had been burglarized. When a deputy arrived, things went from bad to worse when his cattle dog Candy, a blue heeler, got spooked and jumped off the back of his truck.

"The officer says he charged her; however, we had a necropsy done and the bullet injury was in the back of the head and it comes out through the front of the face," said Middleton. "A charging dog shot in the back of the head -- 2 and 2 is equaling 5 there -- 2 and 2 always equals 4."

Middleton says his dog has never bitten anyone.

After being shot, the dog was suffering, according to Middleton. But the nearest veterinarian was 30 miles away, leaving him no choice.

"I held her head in a bucket that I had, and I put water in the bucket, and I drowned her," said Middleton. "That's all I could do. It's awful; I know...And believe me, I would never do that to my baby."

Middleton, who was unhappy with the response of law enforcement on scene, filmed as officers from the sheriffs department and the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived on scene.

Rains County Sheriff David Traylor says the department has received numerous threats, leaving him no choice but to terminate the involved deputy for safety reasons.

"He had received a lot of threats, as well as threats towards the department in whole," said Taylor. "For his safety, and my other officers' safety -- there's no way that he was going to be able to continue working as a deputy in this county. The decision was made -- not saying he was guilty of a criminal offense at this time."

Traylor continued, even saying the department received a threat from Thailand.

"There's been threats that he ought to be shot in the back of the head, his animals ought to be shot. I've not personally read any of them -- I don't intend to go on that page and read them...It's just been unbelievable the way we've been talked to and about."

Sheriff Traylor says the investigation is ongoing. If criminal charges are warranted, the case will be forwarded to the district attorney and ultimately to a Rains County grand jury.

In his 25 years with the department, Traylor says he has never experienced anything like this. The department is in the process of reviewing its policies and working on new protocols.

In the aftermath of the incident Middleton started a Facebook page called 'Justice For Candy', which has gained over 23,000 likes.

You can follow Joe Gomez on twitter at @JoeGomezKRLD.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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