Two people are in custody and another suspect is being sought for their involvement in an "incident involving a series of acts of animal cruelty," police said.
Jace Greene, 29, and Shariah Metzger, 26, were each charged with misdemeanors for the "improper burial of an animal,"according to the Asheville Police Department. The third suspect, Zackery Greene, has not been accounted for.
Photos of a deceased cat circulated on social media where one woman saw the horrifying pictures and alerted police.
The images showed the dead cat strung up and sliced open, posed with needles in its body and drugs in its mouth.
After the feline's dead body was recovered, the animal was scanned for a microchip and identified as a cat that had been adopted from an animal rescue. Aaron Naster told News 13 WLOS he was the owner of the cat. He said the 2-year-old grey cat named Kitty was sweet, trusting and loved people.
An investigation into the incident remains ongoing and a necropsy was scheduled for later this week, police said.
Both Greene and Metzer are currently being held at the Buncombe County Detention Center under a $15,000 secured bond.