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Kitten-burning charges filed against man

The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) –

A 22-year-old Fort Wayne man faces multiple charges of animal cruelty in connection with the burning of a kitten earlier this year.

Police say Matthew Jerome, of the 6000 block of Yellowstone Drive, burned the kitten’s whiskers with a cigarette lighter and allegedly dropped the animal into a fire pit in his back yard, according to Allen County court documents. A woman on June 4 brought the kitten to Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control with burned paws, tail and whiskers.

Jerome is charged with three counts of animal cruelty in the case. He was arrested Tuesday and was being held on $5,750 bond, according to the documents.

A woman living with Jerome told police that her sister had allegedly seen Jerome holding a lighter to the kitten’s whiskers. The woman living with Jerome also told police that he built a fire and started burning pictures and letters from her after an argument, the documents said.

In an interview with police, Jerome said he may have “bumped” the kitten, which belonged to the woman, into the fire pit and walked away without helping the animal, the documents said.

But animal-cruelty expert Dr. Randy Lockwood told police that although the kitten could have slipped into the fire, it appeared more likely to have been dropped in, the documents said.

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