Defendant Sentenced in “Deputy Chance” Animal Cruelty Case

This morning Oscar Lee Thompson III, 19, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced for one count
of Aggravated Animal Cruelty, a third degree felony. He was found guilty on February 6th,
following a one-day trial in Lee County. The victim in this case was a dog now known as
“Deputy Chance.” The State Attorney’s Office recommended the defendant be sentenced to jail
followed by probation.

The Honorable Judge Bruce Kyle sentenced Thompson to 5 years of probation. He is also not
allowed to live in a home with animals, or possess any animals. He must also undergo a mental
health evaluation and follow through on any recommended treatment. He must also undergo
anger management counseling. Thompson must graduate from high school and maintain a 2.5
GPA or better. Once he graduates he must look for a job and provide proof that he has applied,
doing at least three applications a week, until he is hired. He must pay restitution, the amount
was reserved. The defendant was also ordered to pay court costs and the cost of prosecution.

“Today’s sentence for the cruel actions of the defendant done to Deputy Chance should serve as
a reminder that animal abuse is against the law and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent when
there is evidence to proceed under Florida law,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.

The case started on February 26, 2019 when a Lee County Domestic Animal Services Animal
Control Officer responded to a complaint about a stray dog in a person’s backyard in Lehigh
Acres, with a wide band of red tape securing its mouth closed. The responding officer found the
dog to be in respiratory distress and cut the tape off of the dog’s snout. The dog was given water
and immediately drank a bowl full. The dog also had a bleeding wound on the upper forearm
leaving the dog unable to use the leg to support weight.

The officer had to carry the dog to his vehicle to have an emergency evaluation by a veterinarian
at Lee County Animal Services. The dog, named “Chance” by its rescuers, was determined to be
about a one-year-old, Florida Cur mix breed. The wound on the forearm was believed to be a
puncture wound likely caused by another dog or an object within the past day or two of being

The tape that had been around Chance’s mouth was collected by a crime scene technician with
the Lee County Sheriff’s Office who joined in the investigation. Chance’s story was widely
circulated to find who was responsible. A tip to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers led an animal
control detective to Oscar Lee Thompson III as a person of interest.

Thompson admitted knowing of the dog and claimed to have only known it as a stray that would
come to his house occasionally but denied knowledge of the animal cruelty. A buccal swab was
taken from Thompson as well as his fingerprints. Forensics later came back with a match to
Thompson on a fingerprint and a DNA profile link to evidence lifted from the tape that had been
used on Chance. Thompson was then arrested.

Chance’s story did not end there. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno adopted Chance and
deputized the canine. Chance is doing well and is now part of the Lee County Sheriff Office’s
Community Relations Bureau.

Assistant Felony Division Chief John Dommerich Jr. and Felony Division Court Chief Tyler
Lovejoy prosecuted the case.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office