SARASOTA, Fla. >> A southwest Florida man has been sentenced to a year in jail for intentionally setting a pet bunny on fire.
Local media outlets report 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. No one saw Walker set fire to the bunny, but witnesses say the man had claimed he was bitten by the rabbit moments earlier.
Thumper survived, but lost his ears. He now lives at the Wildlife Center of Venice.