Caution

OGDEN — A judge signed an arrest warrant Tuesday for a man suspected of fatally torturing two pets and partially eating them.

Charges were filed Tuesday after the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Lab determined the animals “received copious amounts of lacerations” before death in the June 7 crime.

Bruce Anthony Saunders, 33, is homeless and believed to be hiding in the woods, Ogden police said in the arrest warrant.

The Weber County Attorney’s Office charged Saunders with two counts of third-degree felony torture of a companion animal and one count of class A criminal mischief.

The case began June 6, when police responded to a medical call. Saunders had severed his finger, the warrant said.

Police eventually left after Saunders refused to exit the home and answer questions, and they believed he had a handgun, according to the warrant.

Police returned the following day when Saunders’s live-in girlfriend at the time said she had found him apparently injured.

Officers spoke to Saunders and entered the apartment. Police said they found large amounts of blood in the apartment and a blood-covered baseball bat in the living room.

Then one officer found a cat and a dog, both dead in the bathtub with extensive injuries.

Saunders said he “chopped up” the animals and “ate their hearts,” police said in the warrant.

Second District Judge Camille Neider signed a warrant authorizing Saunders’ arrest and set bail at $12,500.

Several years ago, the Utah Legislature passed a bill allowing third-degree felony animal cruelty prosecutions. Previous law limited such cases to misdemeanor charges.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at

@mshenefelt.

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