ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. — A troubling case of animal abuse in St. Francis County, Arkansas.
Two men are now facing charges after reportedly shooting and killing three cats for sport.
The two duck hunters posted the pictures of their kill on social media.
A concerned citizen notified Sheriff Bobby May, who, along with Arkansas Game and Fish officers tracked down the pair.
Sheriff May said no amount of justice can erase the images of the dead cats from his mind, “Obviously the photographs are very disturbing. These two men, holding cats like they were trophies and they obviously had been shot. Three cats that we could count.”
The pictures show William Bradley Taylor and Ray Verhoeven, duck hunters from Palestine, Arkansas, holding dead cats and smiling proudly.
In the background of the pictures are a number of dead ducks.
Sheriff May doesn’t know what prompted them to shoot the cats, but has a definite opinion on why they posted their pictures on social media, “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.”
William Taylor was arrested, but is out of jail on a $25,000 bond.
Ray Verhoeven is out-of-town, and is expected to turn himself in December 19th.
Thursday, people we showed the pictures to were understandably upset.
“I can’t imagine why they would do something like that. I can’t imagine why they would pose for a picture with these cats that they’ve shot and killed,” said Gary Elliott, who lives in St. Francis County.
Quincy Moore hopes the two are punished.
Moore is a hunter and said he feels betrayed by their cowardly act, “A hunter represents another hunter. And you don’t want to see that out there…people breaking laws like that.”
Sheriff May said it’s unknown to whom the cats belonged.
Taylor and Verhoeven stand to lose their hunting licenses, hunting privileges and guns.
The pair could get jail time, but the Sheriff doubts that will happen.