CLEARFIELD, Utah — A Clearfield family’s cat died Thursday afternoon from injuries he suffered in a severe case of animal cruelty, and the Humane Society of Utah announced Saturday the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction has increased to $42,600.
Saturday the Humane Society said additional donations have brought the total reward from $30,000 as of Friday to $42,600 as of Saturday evening.
“The amount has gained the world’s attention, and we hope it pushes someone with information to come forward,” HSU stated on Facebook. “We also know Sage’s family is thankful for the outpouring of support.”
“Sage” had broken paws, several broken bones (some of them exposed), burns on his face and body, head trauma and hot glue and construction caulk stuck to his skin. Had he survived, he would have faced amputations of his tail and one of his paws.
Sage’s owners gathered at Advanced Veterinary Care in Salt Lake City Thursday to say goodbye to their beloved pet.
“I just don’t know who would do this and still be able to sleep at night,” the cat’s owner said through tears that night.
According to a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of Utah, the $5,000 reward originally offered increased to $30,00 through donations from animal welfare organizations and individuals, including an anonymous donation of $10,000 from someone in Vernal. By Saturday, that amount had increased beyond $40,000.
“Our community is saddened and angry at the same time, they want to help and take action,” said Deann Shepherd, HSU representative, in a statement sent to FOX 13. “I hope that it shows Sage’s family and friends that they are not alone. The world mourns with them and is coming together for justice on behalf of this little cat.”
Knowingly or intentionally torturing a companion animal is a third-degree felony in Utah, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. (Utah Code defines a companion animal as “an animal that is a domestic dog or a domestic cat.”)
Anyone with information regarding who may be responsible for the torture and death of Sage is urged to contact Davis County Animal Services at 801-444-2200 or John Fox, HSU chief investigator, at 801-261-2919 ext. 210. Tips can remain anonymous.
A vigil for Sage and his family is planned for Sunday, March 12 at Kiwanis Park, 300 N Vine St. in Clearfield, at 4 p.m.
The Humane Society of Utah says if the reward is not claimed, the tax-deductible donations will be used by HSU and the Humane Society of Northern Utah to help other animals in need.
To donate, go to the Humane Society’s website here.