Reward Now Up to $8,000 in Dog Abuse Case

PETA Joins Sheriff's Office in Search for Culprit(s) Who Bound Dog's Mouth Shut With Duct Tape

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Lehigh Acres, Fla. – On February 26, a concerned citizen in the Lehigh Acres area reported that a male dog was wandering the streets with his mouth taped shut. The dog was panting, drooling, and bleeding from wounds on his chest and one of his legs, and he appeared dehydrated and malnourished.

The dog has received veterinary care and is now recovering. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating but has yet to determine who’s responsible for the dog’s condition. That’s why PETA is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction on cruelty charges of the person(s) responsible for this crime. PETA’s contribution joins an existing $3,000 reward offered by Crime Stoppers, bringing the total reward to $8,000.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist worldview, and is also asking residents in the area to help spread the word and put up free downloadable posters (available here) in businesses and schools, on bulletin boards, and anywhere else that they’re allowed to display them.

“This dog was on the brink of a terrifying, lonely death from infection, dehydration, or starvation,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is asking for the public’s help so that whoever taped this dog’s mouth shut and left him to die can be held accountable and stopped from hurting anyone else.”

“If you duct tape a dog’s mouth shut, to me, there is only one place for you—behind bars,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno in a statement. “Let me tell you this: It starts this way. This is a stepping stone. A person that’s able to do this to an animal later could possibly do this to a human being.”

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 239-477-1000.

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind