The Humane Society of Utah is adding $2,000 to the reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for burning a small kitten found in Sugar House.

Shay Baldwin found the 1-pound, 6-month-old kitten outside her house on May 8. It had burn marks to her ears, whiskers, paws and tail as if someone had continued to poke it with a lighter or matchstick.

The reward from the Humane Society, combined with the one already offered by the Animal Advocacy Alliance of Utah, would put the total reward at $3,250.

The person convicted of torturing the kitten could face a felony as the new Utah law increasing the penalties for animal cruelty went into effect three days before the animal was found.

The kitten's injuries were severe enough that part of its tail and the tips of its ears may have to be amputated.

"Setting fire to parts of this animal's body was a disgusting action in and of itself," said Human Society Executive Director Gene Baierschmidt in a prepared statement. "But anybody who could do that to a helpless animal has serious enough problems that the next victim could easily be a child or someone else unable either to defend him or herself or fight back."

Support for the kitten, dubbed "LL Cool K," has been widespread since word of the burning was revealed. It has been so great that the Animal Alliance group is holding a meet-and-greet today at the Dog's Meow, 2047 E. 3300 South.

The event is partially a fundraiser to help pay for the kitten's medical bills, as well as a chance for prospective families that want to adopt the kitten to fill out applications.

Anne Davis, head of the Animal Advocacy Alliance of Utah, said investigators were working on two potential leads of the person responsible.


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