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A Sharon man is facing felony charges after police accused him of trapping cats, drowning them and throwing them into an empty lot.

Henry Yudt Jr., 86, of 279 New Castle Ave., was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and cruelty to animals for incidents around Sept. 11 at his home.

Sharon police said they received a report a man in the New Castle Avenue area had been trapping and drowning them then throwing the dead animals into a rear abandoned lot in the 200 block of South Oakland Avenue. Officers said there was a large population of stray cats in the area.

Police said they found two dead cats in the lot and went to a house nearby, and found a blue, plastic 50-gallon barrel, which appeared odd to the officers.

When confronted with the information and told that drowning the cats was not the correct way to go about reducing the abandoned cats population, police said Yudt told them, "I only drowned two.".

Yudt told police he was tired of the cats urinating in and around his yard. He also said that two doors down from him, the owner recently died, leaving 20 cats running throughout the neighborhood.

Police said Yudt explained that he would trap the cats in a large animal trap then drown the cat by dropping it, still inside the trap, into the barrel. He said he would then dispose of them out back.

Yudt was advised of the charges against him, and police told him they would forward the report to the Humane Society to request their help in catching the cats humanely to prevent an incident such as this from happening again, police said.

Yudt was arraigned Monday in front of District Judge Dennis M. Songer and released on his own recognizance.

A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 1.

Follow Melissa Klaric on Twitter and Facebook @HeraldKlaric, email: mklaric@sharonherald.com

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