LEE COUNTY (CBSMiami) – A Florida man is under arrest and charged with animal cruelty in connection to the abuse case of a dog found with his mouth-taped shut and dehydrated in February. The dog later becoming part of the Lee County Sheriff’s office in Fort Myers.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno announced the arrest of 18-year-old Oscar Lee Thompson III on Monday as Deputy Chance stood by his side at the podium.
Chance was found Feb. 26 roaming through a Fort Myers neighborhood with red electrical tape around his mouth. Chief Marceno described the dog as “near death.”
Fingerprints lifted from the red electrical tape and an anonymous crime stoppers tip helped lead investigators to Thompson, said Chief Marceno.
“Over 70 percent of the people who abuse animals will eventually abuse a human being,” Marceno said. “If you hurt an animal in this county you will go to jail.”
Shortly after his rescue, Chance, a Florida cur breed, was adopted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and became a mascot for the department. He was deputized on March 7.
Chance is currently part of the Sheriff Office’s Community Relations Bureau serving as a “spokesdog” for Pets on Patrol.
Thompson will be arraigned on June 24.