Local authorities are searching for the individual or individuals who tortured a Utah family’s cat so brutally that the cat eventually succumbed to his injuries.
No cat should ever have to go through what Sage went through. He went missing from his Clearfield home on March 5 and turned up three days later in terrible shape, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. The 6-year-old cat was suffering from broken ribs and toes, facial injuries and hot-glue-gun burns on his eyes, anus and genitals.
“Our minds and hearts are sick as to how someone can do this to any animal,” his owner, China (Cassel) Rose, wrote on Facebook after they found him.
Sage was taken to an animal hospital, but unfortunately he died the next day on March 9.
The Davis County Animal Care and Control is pursuing hundreds of leads in the case, according to the Humane Society of Utah. A veteran officer has been assigned to the case and is working closely with a Clearfield Police Department detective. Animal Care and Control Director Clint Thacker told the Tribune that in his 15 years at the department, Sage’s case is one of the most blatant and senseless acts of animal cruelty he has seen.
Though you are gone, you are still here. 🐺💛
The Humane Society of Utah initially offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for Sage’s injuries and death. As news of Sage’s story spread, donations from outraged animal lovers across the globe, including England and Australia, poured in. As of March 14, 2017, the reward had reached $56,530.
“The unspeakable horror of this felonious action has brought the entire community together in unified grief and outrage,” Gene Baierschmidt, HSU executive director, said in a statement. “It is our sincere hope that this widespread reaction will result in the swift resolution of the case and appropriate punishment for the perpetrators.”
A vigil for Sage hosted by the Humane Society of Northern Utah was held Sunday at a local park, drawing a couple of hundred people, KSTU-FOX 13 reports.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced Monday that it is putting up a billboard urging people to keep their felines indoors in order to keep them safe.
Under Utah law, torture of a companion animal is a third-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and zero to five years in prison, according to the Tribune.
Authorities are asking anyone with a credible lead to contact Davis County Animal Services at 801-444-2200 or the Clearfield Police Department at 801-525-2806. Tips can be made anonymously.
“Know that we are going to keep fighting for Sage and find out who did this to his wonderful soul,” Rose wrote on Facebook.
Donations to the Humane Society of Utah can be made here. Donations can also be made here to the Humane Society of Northern Utah, which has created a fund in Sage’s name to help other abused animals and their families.