A pair of Arkansas hunters are facing charges related to animal abuse for allegedly killing three cats and posting images of the slain animals on social media.
According to WREG Memphis, William Bradley Taylor and Ray Verhoeven claimed responsibility for killing the cats in images that they posted online. Taylor and Verhoeven are both duck hunters from Palestine, Arkansas, and dead ducks are also visible in the images.
“Obviously the photographs are very disturbing,” said Sheriff Bobby May, “These two men [were] holding cats like they were trophies, and they obviously had been shot — three cats that we could count.”
Sheriff May arrested Taylor for animal abuse after the images were reported by a citizen who saw them on social media, but Verhoeven is out of town and not scheduled to return until Dec. 19. Taylor was released on $25,000 bond, and Verhoeven is expected to turn himself in upon his return to St. Francis County. Both men are expected to lose their hunting licenses and weapons. A 10-year prison sentence is a possibility in animal abuses cases but unrealistic in this instance, according to Sheriff May.
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When asked why Taylor and Verhoeven may have shot the three cats, Sheriff May responded: “The only answer I can come up with is they wanted to show how ‘brave’ they were. Which I’m being facetious, obviously. It actually shows what cowards they are. Only a coward would treat a domesticated animal like that.”
It is unclear whether the cats belonged to anyone in the area, but police indicated that they might not be feral or stray. The Examiner reports that one woman reported that three of her cats had been missing, and she is expected to view the images — which have since been pulled from social media — at the local police station to identify whether her animals were killed.
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Sources: WREG Memphis, The Examiner / Photo Credit: WREG Memphis