Florida man sentenced to probation for taping dog's mouth shut

(Lee County Sheriff's Office)

A Florida man convicted of taping a dog's mouth shut and leaving the animal dehydrated and malnourished was sentenced to five years of probation on Monday.

Oscar Lee Thompson III, 19, was convicted last month of a felony count of aggravated animal cruelty, according to court records.

Animal control officers found the stray Florida Cur last year in a neighborhood of Lehigh Acres, a community about 17 miles east of Fort Myers.

The dog had been in respiratory distress and was limping with a bleeding wound on its leg. An officer cut the tape off the dog’s snout and gave it water. Rescuers named the dog Chance.

A crime scene technician collected the tape that had been around Chance’s mouth, and tips from the community led investigators to Thompson, officials said. Forensic testing later matched Thompson's fingerprints and DNA to the tape removed from the dog's mouth.

After the dog's recovery, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno adopted and deputized Chance. The canine is now part of the sheriff office's Community Relations Bureau.