Her burns have healed. Her whiskers and fur have grown back. And now she’s ready for a new home.
Sparkle the kitten, a victim of animal cruelty this spring, is being put up for adoption by the Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control shelter, Deputy Director Amy Jo Sites said Friday.
With a number of people interested in Sparkle – a 6-month-old, black-and-white, domestic short-hair – the shelter will use a lottery to determine who will have a chance to meet her and possibly adopt her, shelter officials said.
Sparkle was rescued in June after someone heard her crying and found her in a yard in the 4500 block of Foxgrove Avenue, near West Washington Center and Huguenard roads, authorities said. Her paws were burned; her tail fur was singed; and she had no whiskers, court papers said.
A forensic specialist found that the kitten’s burned paws suggested she had been dropped into a fire and that the pattern and consistent length of her burns indicated that she was intentionally scorched.
Investigators determined the kitten belonged to the girlfriend of a man named Matthew Jerome. Jerome told authorities he could have burned the kitten’s whiskers while flicking his lighter and that he may have bumped’ the kitten into the fire, court papers stated.
Jerome, 22, was charged with two felony counts of torturing or mutilating an animal and one misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal. He has a pretrial conference Dec. 18.
Sparkle, who received her name after her rescue, was recently released from New Haven Pet Hospital and has been living in a foster home. Despite her ordeal, she is a sociable, playful kitten, Sites said.
She is friendly, but like a typical cat, it’s on her terms, she said.
Applications to adopt Sparkle will be accepted Monday and Tuesday. The shelter plans to conduct a news conference and party at 10 a.m. Thursday to celebrate her adoption.
Because it was such a heinous crime, I think it was important for us to have a happy ending on this case, Sites said.