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2 Teens Charged With Animal Cruelty In Burned Cat Case

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A young cat was doused with fuel and set on fire.  Derek Valcourt reports officers say two teenagers have been arrested for the crime.

Both are 17 and are being charged as juveniles.

It will take months for Mittens the cat to heal from the wounds she received on Jan. 8.  Her injuries are tough to look at. She has third- and fourth-degree burns on her back and side, as well as severe trauma to her ears.

“She was intentionally set on fire, doused with lighter fluid, thrown in a milk crate and then a match was thrown on her,” said Mary Helfrich, BARCS.

It happened in the 3300-block of Saint Ambrose Avenue in West Baltimore, where the abandoned cat was taken in by a woman who lives with her grandchildren.  She heard the cat screaming in pain and called police, who arrested her 17-year-old grandson and his 17-year-old friend.

The woman did not want to go on camera, but says she blames a friend of her grandson, who was visiting that day.  She says he’s in home detention and her grandson is getting some mental help.

“We often know that these animal cruelty cases are often an indicator of future violent criminal activity,” said Kevin Brown, Baltimore City Police.

Police reports indicate Mittens was able to escape the milk crate and extinguish the flames herself.

“She’s a little worse for wear.  Her ears will probably fall off and she will heal.  If you note, she is growing some hair back here, but her medication is taking care of her.  It’s long-term,” Helfrich said.

The good prognosis means Mittens can continue to care for her kittens.

Each of the two teenagers has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty.  Because they have been charged as juveniles, their names are not being released.

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