A Polk County family is searching for answers after a teenager admitted to police to shooting their family dog.

It happened Thursday evening on Greasy-Creek Road. The family tells Channel 3, Bella didn't survive.

The Frank Family has multiple dogs they use for herding cattle. They let Bella roam their farm often, but she was always in their eyesight.

“Loved to run, loved to hunt. She just enjoyed life,” says Eric Frank, describing his dog Bella.

That is why he cannot comprehend why anyone would kill his Blue-Tick Hound.

“I was feeding hay and on the tractor, and I heard a loud gunshot," Frank says. "Few seconds later I turned around and there was my dog standing behind the tractor, I looked close at her and you can tell she was shot very badly.”

In Tennessee, it is against the law to allow a dog to run at large, unless the dog is engaged in legal hunting or herding. The sheriff's department told Frank, because the dog wandered off their property, there's not much they can do.

“My concern is he is discharging a weapon so close to other residents," Frank says. "They way he shot Bella, it looked like he was shooting straight at me.”

The family of the teenager told police they've had issues with the Frank's dogs coming on their property. They said the dogs would go through their trash, and destroy their mulch.

“I was within a hundred yards of this guy, this kid. He could have very well hollered at me. Walk to the exit row and say hey. I would have been more than happy to pick up his garbage, if that was the case. But I don't think this was justifiable,” says Frank.

“I know she was just an animal, but she was dear to us," Frank's wife Anna says. "She was part of the family. Animals are truly part of the family.”

The family plans to press charges to hold someone accountable.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.