Dozens from around the country gather in Barry County to protest shooting of three family dogs

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BARRY COUNTY, Mo. Saturday nearly 90 people held a protest against the two owners of Paradise Cove Camping resort in Eagle Rock accused of shooting three service dogs to death.

Three Labrador Retrievers were all shot multiple times, one of them a dozen times in the groin.

The dogs were on the alleged shooters land at the time of the incident. Their owners, Sam and Dani Johnson understand property owners especially in rural areas, want to protect their property.

"I understand that but that's if they're threatened," Sam Johnson said. "That wasn't the case here."

"They were just the friendliest, most gentle dogs," added family friend Melissa Redd. "What happened is so wrong."

Those protesting with the family included neighbors and those from as far away as Michigan and Wisconsin. One couple came from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"We look at collars and try to return them home," Bill Johnson said. "Not shoot them."

Josh Rivera is involved with Black Lives Matter in Springfield. He felt drawn to be at the protest as well.

"Gun violence is a problem," Rivera said. "It's not only a problem for black people, it's a problem for high school students. Now it's a problem for our pets."

No charges have been filed against the couple said to be involved in the shooting. The group that came from far and wide want to see justice served.

"This is what we've been forced to do to get their attention," said protest organizer Pam Stilwell. "I think people take their pets very seriously and the way these guys were killed, I don't think anybody thinks its okay on any planet."

"Our dogs are our babies and some people don't understand that," Redd said. "But they mean so much to us and give us unconditional love."

"I have to keep from crying when I look at this group and they come up to me," Dani said. "I look at this group and see the passion and how much they love the animals."

"This is not a left thing or a right thing or a race thing," Rivera added. "This is just us caring for our fur-babies. If there's anything that could bring us together it's our love for our pets. That's kind of the last draw for a lot of people."

The protest was peaceful. No arrests were made.