“Absolute Zero-Tolerance” For Animal Abuse,” Remarks Sheriff Carmine Marceno

“Absolute Zero-Tolerance” For Animal Abuse,” Remarks Sheriff Carmine Marceno

Never before a frequent topic or significant concern in Lee County, Florida, two noteworthy animal abuse incidents that have recently occurred have opened the eyes of animal-rights folks in Southwest Florida, around the state and, surprisingly, from outside the U.S. Last Fall, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for service regarding a pit bull struck by gunfire near Longview Lane in Lehigh Acres.  Then Undersheriff, Carmine Marceno contacted East District staff, insisted that the perpetrator be located, and allocated resources to find that guilty party. LCSO East District did not disappoint.  Shortly after the incident, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested 34-year-old Derrick Lee Vasquez. Back in February, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 3200 block of 42nd Street SW, also in Lehigh Acres, to find a one-year-old Florida Cur with his mouth taped shut, riddled with apparent bite wounds and struggling to breathe. That dog, upon completion of treatment from Lee County Domestic Animal Services, was adopted by the sheriff’s office and subsequently named “Chance.” A furious Sheriff Marceno, once again, asked his East District staff to do “whatever was necessary” to find the person(s) responsible. Detective Jami Najarro was assigned the case and, as a result of relentless interviewing and neighborhood canvassing, along with some nifty DNA lab work, Oscar Lee Thompson III was arrested and charged with “Torture or Inflict Serious Physical Injury to an Animal." With the assistance of Lamar Advertising, Sheriff Marceno broadcast his zero-tolerance for animal abuse policy on billboards all over Lee County. Marceno’s obvious love and compassion for animals has attracted attention across the county and across the ocean.  The Lee County Sheriff’s Office was inundated with email messages, letters, phone calls and even a hand-drawn portrait of Chance sent from Portugal. “Animal abusers concern me,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno.  “In addition to the horrific and unacceptable abuse of animals, numerous studies show that these abusers are frequently the perpetrators of child abuse and domestic violence.  I’m just not going to let this happen in Lee County.”

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