Man Accused of Burning Kitten Appears in Court

By Maureen Mespell
By Scott Sarvay
By Stephanie Parkinson

August 16, 2012 Updated Aug 16, 2012 at 5:29 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The man wanted for burning a kitten appeared in court Thursday morning.

22-year-old Matthew Jerome is charged with two felony counts of torturing or mutilating an animal and 1 count of cruelty to an animal.

Jerome is accused of dropping 'Sparkle' the kitten into a fire this past June burning the animal’s paws and leaving it without whiskers.

Investigators think fireworks were also strapped to the animal.

The kitten is not up for adoption yet because it is still recovering.

Animal Care and Control officials say that when the kitten is available for adoption, they will hold a lottery.

"There's a ton of people interested in giving Sparkle an everlasting home we're really excited about that. In order to be fair to everyone what we'll be doing is opening a time frame to receive applications, after we receive those applications we will close that time frame, open it to a fair lottery draw and we will identify Sparkles forever home," said Belinda Lewis, Animal Care and Control.

Jerome’s next court appearance is set for September 6.

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