Deputies searching for suspect who taped dog’s mouth shut

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Chance found with his mouth taped shut.
Chance found with his mouth taped shut.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno is disgusted by the person responsible for duct taping a dog’s mouth shut and abandoning it.

“I want to be crystal clear with my message,” Marceno said. “If you abuse an animal or a dog, there’s one place for you and that’s behind bars.”

Dog lover, Carolyn Riley said the image is heart-wrenching.

“When you see a picture like that, it makes you sad,” Riley said. “It does especially if you have furry members of your family.”

A neighbor found the dog dehydrated, malnourished and struggling to breathe on 42nd St. SW in Lehigh Acres. It was where Deputies spent much of the day searching for the owner. Riley cannot understand why anyone would do this.

“Can you imagine getting that tape off?” Riley said. “The damage, the pain, the destruction.”

Marceno is a dog lover and visits shelters often. He said he has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hurting defenseless animals. He will do whatever it takes to get the person responsible off the streets.

“It starts this way,” Marceno said. “It’s a steppingstone. A person that is able to do this to an animal, later on, can most possibly do this to a human being.”

Riley adopted a dog that was abused. She hopes the dog eventually gets the love it deserves.

“You wouldn’t do that to a child or a person,” Riley said. “An animal is just another soul.”


Police are asking for any information on the identity of this dog, the dog’s owner or this incident. If you do, call either the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000 or submit information anonymously to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-(800) 780-TIPS.

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