Family mourns three dogs shot in Eagle Rock

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Dani Johnson, of Eagle Rock, said her two black labs, Gus, 7, and Tug, 11 months, as well as her yellow lab, Kaycee, 3, were shot to death last week, and she is looking for answers. Contributed photo

Owner hoping to bring more awareness to animal cruelty

An Eagle Rock woman is speaking out on behalf of her family, which is in mourning after their three labradors were allegedly shot to death and mutilated while playing in Table Rock Lake about half a mile from their home.

Dani Johnson, of Eagle Rock, said her two black labs, Gus, 7, and Tug, 11 months, as well as her yellow lab, Kaycee, 3, were shot to death last week, and she is looking for answers.

"We let them out [on March 13] and they didn't come back," she said. "I was up all night calling for them but could not find them. I called the vet office here, and no more than five minutes later, I got a phone call from a person with a really callous voice saying he heard I had called about the dogs. I was happy and thought he'd found them, but the next thing he said was, 'I just called to let you know that your dogs were shot to death and will not be coming home tonight.'"

Johnson said her husband and his brother went to the vet clinic and were directed to the Paradise Cove Camping Resort.

"They went and knocked on the door there but no one answered, so they went to some neighbors and started asking about the dogs," Johnson said. "A nice couple answered and immediately cried, realizing we were their owners. They told us how beautiful, healthy, friendly and happy they were and how much they'd enjoyed watching them play. They were kind people, and they were horrified. The neighbors said they were watching the labs playing in the lake when a lady drove a golf cart down to them and began shooting them.

"She didn't kill them, and the dogs were tortured. They were deliberately doing gut shots, and the people who saw it said they shot Gus repeatedly in his private parts."

Johnson said the witnesses went down to help the dogs, and even in pain, they were licking the witnesses' hands as they died.

"The dogs had been dragged into a pile and all of their collars had been cut off," Johnson said. "My husband and brother-in-law brought them home so we could give them a proper burial."

Johnson said she made a report with the Barry County Sheriff's Office and said she was initially brushed off, told nothing could be done since the dogs were on the shooters' property.

"But, after this social media response, I got a call and a detective wants to come talk to us and file a report," Johnson said Monday afternoon. "Apparently, the people are saying they felt threatened by our dogs and they were going after their cat, but that's ridiculous because they've been around cats before and are kind. Even the UPS driver loves our dogs."

The Barry County Sheriff's Office confirmed there is an active investigation into the allegations.

Johnson had a public Facebook post receive more than 2,000 shares before Facebook took the post down. Another post by one of Johnson's family members had more than 500 shares on Monday.

The post has gained national attention, as evidenced by reviews left for Paradise Cove Camping Resort on websites like google.com, placedigger.com, yelp.com and rvparking.com. Comments have come from as far away as California and Montreal, Canada. Someone has also vandalized one of the business' signs, painting "dog killers" in red lettering.

A couple people have also left positive remarks on google.com, calling the business owners godly people, sharing stories of how the owners had helped them in the past and calling for a stop to the harassment of the owners.

"The response has been amazing," Johnson said. "If I could physically hug everyone who shared the post or left comments supporting us, I would. I want to tell everyone thank you, and I want to use the power of social media to call for more stringent animal cruelty laws.

"Even if you have livestock and a dog comes on your property, most people would shoot in the air to scare it off, not gutshot, torture and mutilate its genitals for the fun of it. There are so many animal lovers out there, and I hope this doesn't happen to any dog ever again.

Two calls for comment were placed to Paradise Cove Camping Resort. The first resulted in a busy signal, and the second rang through, but no one answered.

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  • This is so Sickening ! Something needs to change with the Laws on Shooting Dogs, the Witness was enjoying watching the dogs play so they were not doing NOTHING wrong when the Lady on the cart drove up and started shooting them (Torturing Them) shooting them in the Genitals like they enjoyed it!! Then the poor dogs still licked the hand of the witness who came to help the dogs as the dog laid there dying!!! And Nothing can be done??? I hope no one ever goes to Paradise Cove Camping Resort again!!! My Heart goes out to the Owners of those Sweet Dogs!!!

    -- Posted by LizStrickland on Mon, Mar 19, 2018, at 8:23 PM
  • This story makes me physically ill. The most troubling part is the fact that people like this actually exist. My heart breaks for these dogs and their family. These two are disgusting excuses for human beings. May their business fail and may ďlaw enforcement ď get smart and do something about this. These two nut-cases would probably pose a threat to another person.

    -- Posted by Melissa3 on Tue, Mar 20, 2018, at 10:27 PM
  • I'm missing somethng. Are the owners of Paradise Cove involved in this? Nowhere in the story does it say anything like that. Might be a good idea to be more careful who you blame unless you all know something I don't.

    -- Posted by CBee on Wed, Mar 21, 2018, at 4:48 PM
  • According to Law in acted in 2017 the person who shot the dogs in the privates commited a class E Felony.see: https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/missouri/mo-laws/missouri_laws_578-012. So the person should be arrested.

    -- Posted by DogLover4ever on Wed, Mar 21, 2018, at 6:31 PM
  • The person who shot the dogs should be arrested according to Missouri's Laws class E Felony. See: https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/missouri/mo-laws/missouri_laws_578-012

    -- Posted by DogLover4ever on Wed, Mar 21, 2018, at 6:34 PM
  • -- Posted by LizStrickland on Wed, Mar 21, 2018, at 8:17 PM
  • CBee I only post Facts No guessing here!!!

    -- Posted by LizStrickland on Thu, Mar 22, 2018, at 12:22 PM
  • This needs to go viral, Twitter and Facebook is our friend.

    This is the most horrific story Iíve ever heard, my parents camp and will not be visiting this campground, neither will their friends who are also Good Sams.

    -- Posted by Carol B on Thu, Mar 22, 2018, at 5:55 PM
  • This is the most chilling, horrific story Iíve read. My parents are campers and will not be going to this death trap with their Good Sams as Iíve shared this with them. This needs to go viral, Twitter and Facebook is a great resource along with national media outlets.

    -- Posted by Carol B on Thu, Mar 22, 2018, at 5:58 PM
  • I agree, Carol B. I've shared everywhere I can think of. I'm waiting for charges to be filed, and I plan to attend every related hearing, trial, etc. I'm also trying to find out what possible federal charges might be filed. These members of this loving family were tortured and slaughtered on federal land. I can't shoot a beaver on federal land, even if I believe it's caused damage to my dock, let alone torture it. What in heaven'a name is wrong with people?

    -- Posted by Gina25111 on Thu, Mar 22, 2018, at 6:28 PM
  • Gina25111 those people are savages of the worst kind, they should be imprisoned for their evil and intentional actions. I've shared this on my FB page, I literally cried as I read this, I'd just taken my own 4 month old puppy for a walk. If I lived anywhere nearby I'd be right there with you but I will be there in spirit and closely watching what transpires. Surely this is a Federal crime since these dogs were trained to help the blind and the fact that they were tortured with malicious intent. I will be in contact with Good Sam Camping Club through out the US to let them know what vile human beings they're exposing themselves to if they stay there. These monsters are pure evil and need to be stopped immediately. What would they do to children on their property? They're dangerous, that's all there is to it.

    -- Posted by Carol B on Thu, Mar 22, 2018, at 8:16 PM
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