The Allegan County Sheriff says a since deleted social media post and photo that alleges to show a man shooting cats that enter a couples property in Gobles is a joke.

Soon after making the post the couple began receiving death threats and the post was quickly taken down, but not before screenshots of it were taken. Screenshots of the deleted post went viral sparking outrage in the community and beyond. Both the Allegan and Van Buren County Sheriff's Departments were inundated with complaints as well as the area Animal Control for both counties and local DNR officials. The area where the incident was alleged to have occurred is near the border where the two counties meet.

The Allegan County Sheriff's Department investigated all evidence turned over to them and interviewed the couple involved and deemed that no cats were actually harmed.

Allegan County Sheriff Lt. Brett Ensfield told WWMT that if their investigation found the claims to be true the couple could be facing:

Animal cruelty, and there’s several different potential crimes that could be applied to these types of situations. Obviously we look into and investigate those things,

The sheriff also went on to say:

Sometimes people put things out on the internet to maybe entice, you know, elicit responses. I don’t know if this is the case or not. Think about what you put out there. You know, what the ramifications are of the information you’re sharing, and what backlash it’s going to have back towards you,

As for the death threats the couple has since received, Sheriff Ensfield says reports of the threats have been sent to the sheriff's office and they are investigating but that:

it’s hard to track all that stuff down. People may be multiple states away, and they are saying, just because what their beliefs are, that they believe that they’re out there hurting animals, and you know, they respond accordingly,