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PETITION TARGET: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

UPDATE: Authorities have charged Oscar Lee Thompson III, 18, with this crime. Thompson’s trial will begin January 21, 2020. We urge prosecutors to treat this case with the severity it deserves, and work to ensure this man does not hurt any more animals.

Someone in LeHigh Acres, Florida cruelly wrapped an innocent dog’s mouth tightly shut with duct tape, slowly suffocating the helpless animal nearly to death. The dog, a Florida cur, was found wandering through people’s backyards, panting, drooling and bleeding from the legs and chest.

A concerned resident contacted police, and Lee County Domestic Animal Services rushed to give the dog veterinary attention. They discovered he was dehydrated and malnourished, in addition to his painful wounds.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno — a self-professed animal lover — stated the county has zero tolerance for any form of animal abuse, and that he is determined to find and prosecute the person responsible. It is imperative that he now follow through with that promise.

Anyone capable of inflicting this kind of torment on an animal needs to be put behind bars and banned from being around animals for the rest of their lives, before they harm anyone else.

We thank Sheriff Marceno for his quick and heartfelt response to this heartbreaking case, and urge him and his team to use all available resources to find the perpetrator.

You can contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000 or submit information anonymously to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-(800) 780-TIPS.