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Editor's note: The reward amount being offered by the Humane Society of Northern Utah has been updated to reflect additional donations.CLEARFIELD — The Humane Society of Northern Utah has raised its original $5,000 reward to $42,600 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for torturing a cat that died from its injuries.
Sage, a 6-year-old gray and white domestic cat, belonged to Clearfield resident China Rose, who posted photos of Sage on Facebook with a detailed description of the signs of abuse she found when the cat made its way back home Wednesday.
According to Rose, when Sage returned, he had been beaten and tortured, his whiskers cut, fur shaved and ribs snapped. He also appeared to have been also "tortured ... with hot glue," and he could no longer walk or meow.
“They broke his ribs, his little toes, beat his face, glued his eyes shut, tried to glue his penis and anus shut, burned him with hot glue and put silicone on him,” the president of the Humane Society of Northern Utah, Debbie Barnes, said in a news release. “This is the worst abuse case I have ever seen.”
Late Thursday afternoon, Rose posted on Facebook that Sage had died.
The Humane Society of Northern Utah had initially offered to pay for Sage's veterinary hospital expenses and noted that additional donations were welcome.
But when Sage died, the Humane Society of Northern Utah decided to put all donations toward the reward offered for information about the person (or persons) responsible for the torture, raising the compensation to $42,600.
The full amount includes the original $5,000 reward, $5,000 from the Humane Society of Northern Utah, $5,000 from the Humane Society of the United States, more than $5,000 from individual donations as far away as Maryland and an unprecedented anonymous donation of $10,000 from Vernal.
Officials from the Humane Society of Northern Utah say they hope the reward helps Davis County Animal Services to obtain information that will aid them identify and charge the responsible party.
According to the Utah State Criminal Code, the intentional torture of a companion animal, including "inflicting extreme physical pain ... in an especially heinous, atrocious, cruel or exceptionally depraved manner," is a third-degree felony.
“We couldn't save Sage, but because of the love shown to Sage, we will be able to save others and hopefully, catch the perpetrators of this horror,” Barnes said in a news release.
The Humane Society of Northern Utah is organizing a vigil for Sage and his family Sunday, March 12 at 4 p.m. at Kiwanis Park, 300 N. Vine St., in Clearfield, Utah.
The Humane Society of Utah urges anyone with information to contact Davis County Animal Services at 801-444-2200 and tips can remain anonymous. Tips can also be sent to John Fox, Humane Society chief investigator, at 801-261-2919 ext. 210.
Donations made online at humanesocietyofnorthernutah.com/donate are tax-deductible and will be rolled over to help future animal welfare cases and deserving animals in need if not claimed.