People are throwing live kittens onto the Neuse River Bridge on US 17 as they drive across.

They’re doing the same thing on US 70 in James City.

According to the Craven County Sheriff’s office, multiple reports have come in about the animals.

Sheriff Chip Hughes released photographs of one injured kitten who was rescued from the bridge on Monday, and expressed outrage at the kind of people who would commit such a senseless crime.

“I can’t understand why somebody would do that,” he said. He described the acts of animal cruelty, which are felonies, as “heinous.”

“I understand that some of the cats, they are known to get up in fenders and stuff like that,” he said, “and that sometimes they are unable to keep hold and fall out. But this is happening more than just as a coincidental thing.”

The sheriff’s department asks anyone who witnesses someone throwing animals form a vehicle to call 911. If possible get the registration plate number, but do not confront the person committing the crime.

Hughes said extra patrols have been assigned to the bridge, and added that the sheriff’s department is monitoring the video that is taken around the clock on the bridge.

“Any lead we get, we are following,” he added. “We’re conducting investigations on it.”

He noted that both live and dead cats have been recovered and added that some are apparently thrown from the bridge into the river below as well.

“There will be zero tolerance for animal cruelty in Craven County,” he said. “We are aggressively going after folks like this that think it’s okay to mistreat, abuse, and not care for their animals.”