Tallassee, Blount County (WVLT) - A group of hunters in training their dogs for this year's upcoming raccoon season will be without three of them after they were shot and killed.
And now one man faces charges for committing the crime.
Volunteer TV’s Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb headed to Tallassee to find out what happened.
It's tough for any dog owner when their beloved pet dies. It's even tougher for Derek Radford and Jason Payne. Their dogs shot and killed this past weekend.
The pictures are too graphic for us to show.
And the man accused says he didn't do it.
Jason Payne and Derek Radford live, breathe, and will probably die avid hunters.
"That's my life,” says Radford. “I've grown up, ever since I was a kid, running dogs."
But the night of July 28th was a night they'll never forget. With tracking devices, they took out seven dogs on their land to let the dogs get their rusty noses and tracking instincts ready for the upcoming hunting season.
But when they got to the top of the mountain, "We heard them three shots,” Payne recalls. “Well, we had three dogs that just disappeared. Couldn't track them, couldn't beep them or nothing."
So they began to search for the dogs with their devices along Highway 72.
"I got in the truck, got my tracker, and we went down the road and we got a beep,” says Derek.
"I found one of the collars had been thrown off Four Mile Creek and that's when we called the law,” Jason says.
Conservation officers arrived on the scene and found the dogs on the property of Randall Paul Greene, who has now been charged with the crime. Greene says he's innocent and that it was his grandmother who killed the dogs because they were chasing their cats and who, he says, are still missing.
Both men say they've lost more than dogs they've spent years training, but also dogs they loved, which leaves them with one feeling.
"Bad,” Jason says. “Real bad.”
"If we go out and kill somebody, they're going to make justice and that's the way I look on my dogs,” Derek says.
Greene says they've been very protective of their land, putting up no hunting or trespassing signs, since his father was murdered at his home ten years ago and the case remains unsolved.
Greene is due in court August 17th.