(Reuters) A sheriff’s deputy in northeast Texas has been fired for shooting a farmer’s dog through the back of the head in an incident that touched off condemnation around the world.

The farmer, Cole Middleton, 25, said his 2-year-old Australian cattle dog, Candy, survived the gunshot, but he had to put the dog down himself to end its suffering.

Middleton said the dog was like a child to him. In a phone interview on Friday, he added, “I’ve lost the best employee I had on my farm.”

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