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Reward grows to $56K as case of Utah cat tortured to death attracts global attention

Sage the cat.

CLEARFIELD, Utah — The reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in a case of extreme animal cruelty has now grown to $56,530.

Deann Shepherd of the Humane Society of Utah said Wednesday the reward in Sage’s case has increased to $56,530 thanks to a variety of smaller contributions and one anonymous gift of $5,000 from someone in Louisiana.

Shepherd also said local authorities have received hundreds of tips in the case so far.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, donations have come from people and organizations all over the United States as well as from donors in places like England and Australia.

The outpouring of giving comes in reaction to the horrifying details in the case. Sage, a 6-year-old cat, was found by his family in Clearfield after being gone for several days. The cat showed clear signs of trauma that included broken bones and injuries from hot glue that was applied to sensitive places on the animal, including his genitals.

Sage was rushed to a veterinary facility, but he later died due to his injuries.

“It is humbling to see the number of people wanting to help and take action on behalf of Sage,” Shepherd stated in the press release “We understand that this case is not only about the death of a cat; it represents a larger issue about the serious nature of animal abuse and its relationship to other anti-social behavior, cruelty and crime. People understand that whoever was capable of this heinous behavior needs to be apprehended for the safety of the community.”

More than 150 people attended a vigil for Sage over the weekend, where animal advocates also announced a fund for abused animals that will bear Sage’s name.

HSU says the reward being collected for Sage’s case will be held for one year or until the reward is claimed. If after one year the reward remains, those funds will be used by HSU to help other animals and for rewards in other abuse cases.

The case also prompted action from PETA, who says they will be erecting a billboard in northern Utah showing Sage’s case and warning pet owners to keep their animals indoors.

Donations for the reward in Sage’s case are still being accepted, click here for details.

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 Clearfield Police Department at 801-525-2806. Tips can remain anonymous.