WATE 6 On Your Side Staff - GREENEVILLE (WATE) - A Greene County dog is back with its owner after officers say they found it being stabbed and beaten by three men in an apartment Sunday.
Luis Mendoza, Francisco Flores and Hector Mendoza are each charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.
The owner of the seven-year-old German shepherd, named "Smokey," he was spooked by a sudden thunderstorm, jumped a fence and ran off. The dog ended up a quarter-mile away in the 7900 block of Asheville Highway where the three men found him.
Police were initially called to the apartment on a drunk and disorderly conduct call. When they arrived they found Smokey with several cuts and punctures to his body. Blood was all over the floor of the apartment's bathroom, one of the men was holding a bloody knife and another was holding a long wooden handle. All three men were taken into custody.
"I think they're terrible excuses for human beings. They're evil," said Smokey's owner Elaine Darnell.
The dog underwent surgery Monday at Greene County Veterinary Hospital. Friends of Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society posted on Facebook that Smokey had multiple stab wounds to his face, head and neck. He had also been beaten.
Smokey is expected to make a full recovery. He had a collar but no identification, but Darnell said a friend saw his photo on the Greene County Sheriff's Department Facebook page and contacted her.
"Hopefully the district attorney will prosecute them to the maximum," she said.
Donations to help pay for Smokey's veterinary care can be sent to:
Greene County Veterinary Animal Hospital
"Smokey"247 Baileyton Road
Greeneville, TN 37745