Pictures of animals holding knives and cigarettes have prompted an investigation of employees at Mecklenburg County Animal Care and Control.
In an e-mail to city leaders, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said his department had been investigating the "inappropriate" pictures since August, according to The Herald's news partner, WSOC-TV.
One picture showed a cat, apparently sedated, with a cigarette in its mouth and a knife in its paws.
Another showed a cat with a pen in its mouth.
One showed a ferret that's missing fur, with a caption that read "someone thought it would be funny to Nair" the animal.