JESUP, Iowa --- Authorities have made an arrest in the case of a dead dog discovered in a cage abandoned along a rural road Feb. 16.

Officers with the Jesup Police Department arrested Ty Alyn Hickman, 23, Thursday night on a charge of animal torture, said Maria Tiller, a Waterloo animal control and code enforcement officer who was involved in the investigation.

The charge is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years behind bars, and Hickman was taken to the Buchanan County Jail.

"I always felt this case would be solved," said Diann Helmers of Agape Fosters, a Reinbeck animal rescue. She said she thought people would come forward with information because it was the right thing to do or because of a reward, which reached $7,500.

Tiller said a decision about payment wouldn't come until the prosecution of Hickman was concluded because a successful conviction was one of the conditions of the reward.

But she said tips from the public were behind the arrest.

"Without the help of the public, we never would have got this far," Tiller said.

The dog, a Dane-Lab mix dubbed "Caleb," was discovered apparently malnourished and covered in feces in a pet carrier n the 2700 block of Independence Avenue on Feb. 16.

Helmers started a Facebook page to spread the word about the neglect and started the reward fund with a $500 offer. In the weeks that followed, other donors and organizations contributed to the fund.