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Davis County Animal Care and Control officials are investigating another case of cat abuse, and they suspect it may be related to last month's widely-publicized Sage feline torture case.
On Thursday, the department said it was examining abuse of a 1-year-old male orange tabby with medium hair, found March 29 near 500 East and Lynnwood Drive in Clearfield. The injured cat is expected to survive. Officials are still looking for the owner.
Animal Care and Control Director Clint Thacker said the cat was discovered in someone's backyard. Officials brought the cat to the shelter and immediately put it under a veterinarian's care, he said.
The backyard where the feline was found is in the same block where the brutally tortured cat named Sage was discovered in early March.
The story of the 6-year-old cat caught international attention from animal lovers, who were shocked by Sage's injuries including broken ribs and toes, facial injuries and hot-glue burns. Sage eventually died of his injuries.
Animal Care and Control is working with a Clearfield Police Department detective on both cases, Thacker said.
Thacker would not disclose the second cat's injuries, but said some were similar to those Sage suffered.
The police department "does not have any evidence that the two cases are related, but has not ruled out that the same person or persons may be responsible for each," a news release from Animal Care and Control said.
Thacker said officials delayed releasing information about the second abuse case for two weeks because the department was still being inundated with tips from the Sage case, and didn't "want to interfere with developments" on that case. The department received hundreds of tips about Sage, many via email, he said.
The Humane Society of Utah is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the abuse of the orange tabby.
In the Sage case, the Humane Society initially offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Sage's injuries and death. But the award fund quickly grew to more than $60,000 as outraged animal lovers from as far away as England and Australia pitched in money.
Thacker asked animal owners to microchip or tag their pets, so they can be identified by authorities.
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.
Animal Care and Control asks anyone who is missing a pet that matches the orange tabby's description, or who has information about who may be responsible for the abuse, to call 801-444-2200.