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SALISBURY, NC (AP) — Rowan County authorities are trying to determine who shot and killed eight cats and an opossum and dumped the bodies beside a road near Salisbury.

Animal control officials say the bodies were found in a large box beside a road about 5 miles northeast of Salisbury on Wednesday.

Animal control supervisor Clai Martin says investigators think someone trapped the animals and shot them between the eyes.

Martin says the manner of killing and disposing of the animals is illegal and cruelty charges could be filed if a suspect is found.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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