The Humane Society of Utah hopes that the nearly $50,000 reward being offered in what officials are calling, “the worst abuse case they’ve ever seen,” will be incentive enough for someone to come forward with information about the person or people responsible for the torture that led to the death of a gray and white 6-year-old cat named Sage.
Sage disappeared last Saturday and returned early Wednesday morning. Sage’s owner, China Cassel couldn’t believe the condition he was in. He had been brutally tortured with hot glue. He was shaved, beaten, his bones were broken. While he was a fighter, Sage lost his battle and, sadly, passed away from his injuries on Thursday night.
Reaction to Sage’s death has provoked an outpouring of donations from around the world – and donations to increase the reward amount have begun pouring in – the amount now approaching $50,000. One unnamed donor came forward with a $10,000 contribution, according to the Humane Society of Utah.
Humane Society spokeswoman Deann Shepherd told KSL News:
“Our community is saddened and angry at the same time. They want to help and take action. 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.”
The Humane Society of Northern Utah held a vigil for Sage on Sunday at Kiwanis Park in Clearfield. More than 150 people gathered to show their support for Sage and his family. HSNU announced they’ve created The Sage Friend Fund, which will help other abused animals and their families. It’ll be used for reward money in other cases, to cover medical bills and long term rehabilitation for animals who survive abuse, and toward memorial costs for those who don’t make it.
In the meantime, the horrifying thought is that the person responsible for Sage’s death is still out there, and someone knows something.
In Utah, the intentional torture of a companion animal is a third-degree felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to five years and a $5,000 fine.
Anyone with information regarding who may be responsible for the torture of Sage is urged to contact Davis County Animal Services at 801-444-2200 or John Fox, Humane Society of Utah’s chief investigator, at 801-261-2929, ext. 210. Your tips can remain anonymous.