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Arkansas hunters face charges for hunting cats

Published: Dec. 4, 2014 at 11:17 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2014 at 9:19 AM CST
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After a day of duck hunting, Raymond Verhoeven and Bradley Taylor posed for photos with the day's kill and St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May can't stomach it.

"It's horrible and when I first saw the photographs, I was just appalled and sickened," said May.

In addition to the ducks, there were three cats. In subsequent photos, Verhoeven and Taylor are actually holding two of the dead cats, still apparently bleeding from fresh gunshots.

"The photos are really, really sad. The cats, they're holding the cats like they're trophies," added May. "A person asked and said why would these individuals want to take pictures of them and hold them like they're trophies. You know, to them, they're being brave and showing off bravado but really, they're just yellow cowards because only a coward would do that."

The photos were posted on social media and upset citizens then forwarded them to the sheriff's department. Taylor has been arrested on an animal cruelty charge. There's a warrant out for Verhoeven and he has agreed to turn himself in on December 19, when he returns from working out of state.

"If you don't have a conscience and you abuse animals then what else can you abuse it can go further," added May.

May says deputies believe they have found the woman who owned the cats. A neighbor whose three cats have been missing is scheduled to come in to the sheriff's office to look at these exact pictures to identify her pets.

As a cooperating witness, the photographer does not face any charges.

If convicted, the two men face a possibility of up to 10 years in prison. May says he's realistically aiming to at least have their hunting licenses and gun permits revoked.

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