A southwest Florida man has been sentenced to a year in jail for purposely setting a pet bunny on fire.
Local outlets reported that 23-year-old Manasseh Walker was sentenced earlier this week after a Sarasota County jury found him guilty of aggravated animal cruelty.
Authorities say Walker admitted to deputies last June that he had burned his girlfriend’s rabbit, Thumper, but claimed it was an accident. A veterinarian who examined Thumper said the animal’s injuries weren’t consistent with Walker’s story.
There were no witnesses to see Walker set fire to the bunny, but witnesses say the man had claimed he was bitten by the rabbit moments earlier.
Thumper lived through the fire but lost his ears. He now lives at the Wildlife Center of Venice.