In the wake of the torture killing of a family’s beloved cat, thousands have signed a petition calling on Utah lawmakers to establish an animal abuse registry in the state.
The Change.org petition asks the Utah State Assembly to introduce and pass “Sage’s Law,” which will not only establish the public registry, but also calls for those convicted of animal cruelty to face stiffer fines and penalties.
Under the proposed law, animal cruelty charges would be upgraded from a third to second degree felony, with a $10,000 fine and mandatory 10-year sentence if the animal dies as a result of the inflicted injuries. If the animal doesn’t die, the convicted abuser would face a sentenced of 1 to 15 years.
Anyone convicted of animal cruelty would also be prohibited from buying or adopting animals ever again.
The petition was started as a response to a horrific case of cruelty involving a 6-year-old cat named Sage, whose death was called “the worst case of abuse I have ever seen,” by an official from the Humane Society of Northern Utah.
Sage went missing on March 4. By the time he returned to his home in Clearfield, Utah, four days later, “Every inch of Sage’s mangled body had been subjected to excruciating torture,” the petition stated.
The cat somehow managed to make it home to his family, despite injuries so severe he could no longer walk or meow.
His ribs and toes were broken, he had been beaten and his eyes were glued shut, apparently with a hot glue gun. His whiskers had been cut off, and his fur was shaved.
“Some of the torture is too graphic to put into words,” the petition read.
Desperate attempts by veterinarians to save his life weren’t enough, and Sage later died.
No arrests have been made, nor has a suspect been named in the case; a reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of Sage’s killer or killers.
As of Wednesday morning, the petition has received more than 13,500 signatures. It was looking to gather 15,000 before it will be delivered to Utah state lawmakers.