MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — An independent livestock contractor turned himself in Monday night after being accused of shooting and killing a donkey on the loose in Milton last week.

Philip Hayes, 54, is charged with torturing and inflicting pain or serious injury or death on an animal and inhuman slaughter of livestock.

Hayes was contracted by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office to capture animals roaming where they shouldn’t be.

A week ago, Hayes responded to a donkey on the loose on Deaton Bridge Road in Milton.

A deputy responded as well, but an arrest report says Hayes told the deputy he or she was no longer needed.

Witnesses said the donkey was healthy, not aggressive and even ate feed out of Hayes’ hands.

At that point, Hayes got a gun and shot the donkey once in the shoulder, which caused the donkey immense pain, according to witnesses. About two minutes later, he shot the donkey again, killing it, the arrest report said.

Hayes turned himself in after a warrant was signed for his arrest. He was given an $8,500 bond before being released two hours later.

Hayes’ attorney Dan Stewart has claimed the 54-year-old is innocent. Stewart said Hayes has received death threats over the incident and the experience has been emotional for him. 

Stewart said Hayes was protecting the public and more information will be released soon. 

“(Hayes) was the one left to make the choice (to kill the donkey) and the first to shed a tear,” said Stewart.