A Saskatchewan family is mourning the loss of three dogs after the pets were found dead Sunday night.

Dog killed near Melfot

Simba, a collie cross, was a foster dog through New Hope Dog Rescue out of Saskatoon. He is suspected to have been run over by a vehicle. (Courtesy Amanda Holowachuk)

Aaron Cooper let the dogs outside near his home in the Pleasantdale, Sask. area, about 37 kilometres south of Melfort. 

It's something he typically does every night, but last night the dogs never came back.

"Generally with in a few shouts, and whistles they come running, but this time they didn't," said Cooper.

After a lot of searching, Cooper made a grim discovery on the side of a rural road that borders his home. 

"We went out there and we found our three dogs all widely spaced apart ... we really questioned that," he said. "One was hit, rundown, purposely hit just going by the tracks...then the other two were quite clearly shot."

Dog 2 found dead near Melfort

Effie, a oner-year-old shepherd cross, was a rescue dog. She was found dead with a gunshot wound. (Courtesy Amanda Holowachuk)

To Cooper, who said he doesn't have any children, his dogs were family. The dog that was struck by a vehicle, he said was a foster animal from New Hope Dog Rescue in Saskatoon.

"We could just see the tracks towards where he was hit, and there were no skid marks." 

There are clear signs set up around the Cooper property stating no hunting or shooting allowed, pointing to their residence located within 500 metres. 

"You do your best to protect your boundaries, but unfortunately these guys were outside of those boundaries ... regardless of where they were supposed to be or weren't you don't go around shooting peoples dogs."

Dog 3 found dead Melfort

This is Robin, he was a retriever cross rescue, and only eight months old. He was found dead after being shot. (Courtesy Amanda Holowachuk)

The family speculates hunters were in the area at the time of the shooting. 

The RCMP is investigating, and officers have gone down to the Cooper home to take pictures of the scene. 

"Somebody out there knows something about it and I'd really love to see them be held accountable for it," said Cooper. 

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to call CrimeStoppers.