The Johnson Labs
The Animal Justice League of America is investigating the following report about the Johnson Labs. This report is according to what we have been told by witnesses. We will continue to gather information about this case.
On March 13, 2018 the Johnson’s of Chain-O-Lakes, Missouri let their labs out to do their morning business. This was nothing out of the ordinary, in fact, it was their morning routine. Their two chocolate labs, Gus (7) and Tug (11 mo.), and their yellow lab, Kaycee (3), would regularly play on the property around their home, returning 15 minutes later after they had their fun. Unfortunately, on March 13th they never came home.
Dani Johnson knew it was out of character for her labs so she began to panic. She posted on social media asking for help locating her dogs, then began frantically searching her property. She later called her veterinarian’s office to report them missing and approximately five minutes after that report she received a phone call. The man on the line informed her that her dogs had been shot to death and would not be returning home, then ended the call abruptly.
Dani Johnson and her husband, Sam, went to their vet’s office to find out more. When they arrived, they were directed to the Paradise Cove Camping Resort. They drove to Paradise Cove and began knocking on the doors waiting for someone to answer. When no one came to the door, they began asking the neighbors surrounding the properties to find out if they had information.
One of the neighbors answered their door and began crying when they realized the Johnson’s were the owners of the labs. They told the Johnsons how beautiful and friendly the dogs were, how they enjoyed watching them play in the lake, but then they told them the horrifying truth. They proceeded to tell Sam and Dani that they watched the labs play in the lake, but then saw a woman drive down towards them and start shooting.
According to witnesses she did not just kill the dogs – she tortured them. They were intentionally shot repeatedly in the stomach, then Gus was shot multiple times in his private parts. The dogs were dragged into a pile, then their collars were cut off to make it look as if they were strays.
The witnesses ran to the dogs, who were still clinging to life. The neighbors held the dogs, trying to bring them comfort. The dogs were so kind and gentle, they were licking the witnesses’ hands as they passed. After sharing the heartbreaking story, through tears they pointed the Johnsons to the bodies of Gus, Tug and Kaycee. The Johnson’s tearfully placed their lifeless bodies in their vehicle, so they could bring them home to have a proper burial.
After they returned home, Dani Johnson called the Barry County Sheriff’s Office and was told that because they dogs were on the shooters’ property that there was nothing they could do. However, after a substantial amount of pressure from the social media response, a detective from Barry County finally reached out to the Johnsons. He informed them that the owners of Paradise Cove were claiming they felt threatened by the dogs. They claimed the labs had been going after their cat, but the Johnsons knew that couldn’t be true. The dogs had been around cats in the past and were always kind.
The Barry County Sheriff’s Office opened a case, but that is where it was left. As of July 1, 2018, no charges have been filed, even with witness reports of the torture and abuse of the Johnson’s labs. AJLA is investigating this case based on the report above.
Animal Justice League of America reached out to the Johnson’s and are working to get justice. Shane Rudman and Danielle Reno began investigating the case. They reached out to the Barry County Sheriff’s Office and spoke to two very nice people. They assured AJLA that the sheriff or his second in command would call back, however they never did. AJLA also reached out to the prosecutors’ office four times but did not receive any calls back. Not taking the lack of response as an answer, they packed up and went down to Barry County to speak with the prosecutors directly.
Before heading to the prosecutors’ office, Shane and Danielle went by Paradise Cove to see if they could open a dialog. When AJLA arrived, no one was at the property, so the team left a message at the call box. Shane Rudman was very professional, he left his business card with his contact information and requested that the Paradise Cove owners call them to provide their side of the story. As the AJLA team turned around to leave the suspected shooter pulled back into their drive in their personal vehicle. Shane thought it would be a great opportunity to open up a dialog. Instead of having a rational conversation with our team, Mrs. Perkins refused to even hear Shane out. All she kept screaming was “no.” “No. No. No.” Her husband, who seemed more willing to cooperate and offered Shane the name of their attorney. It was clear he was much more willing to work with our team than his wife was. Mrs. Perkins was upset her husband had provided the information and became even more irate and told him to drive onto their property to end the conversation.
The AJLA team left but had to drive by the property again on their way to the Barry County Prosecutors Office. As they passed, the owners of Paradise Cove were sitting in their golf cart at the entrance of their property. Mrs. Perkins pulled out a gun in a threatening manner and pointed it at Shane and Danielle. Our team left the property quickly and continued their journey to the Barry County Prosecutors’ Office and Courthouse.
Upon their arrival their phones were confiscated by a police officer. When they entered the facility the receptionist quickly recognized Shane Rudman and ran into the prosecutors’ personal office and shut the door. Finally, a second young woman came to assist. She requested they take a seat and she would be back momentarily. After ten minutes, they were informed that the prosecutors were both too busy and would not be able to see them.
The Barry County Prosecutors Office has refused to return phone calls from AJLA, the press, and the State Representatives and State Senators of Missouri. This does not mean that we will give up! Animal Justice League of America will continue to put pressure on the Barry County to make sure they do the right thing. We will continue to fight for Justice for the Johnson’s Labs and continue our investigation.