Florida man charged with animal cruelty after dog is found with his legs and mouth taped

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In Lee County, a 25-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday after his dog was found with his legs and mouth taped and then abandoned on the side of a busy road in North Fort Meyers.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Emerito Marquez faces felony animal cruelty charges after the dog was found limping alone near a Race Trac gas station. The dog, named Paco, was taken to the Lee County Domestic Animal Services for evaluation and is expected to make a full recovery. Paco was found by two Good Samaritans who called 911 for help.

Marquez had been celebrating his 25th birthday when he was arrested. In the video released by the sheriff’s department, Marquez stuck his tongue out as he was just placed under arrest and handcuffed.

On June 13, 2022, deputies responded to the RaceTrac on North Cleveland Avenue in North Fort Myers, for reports of a dog limping in the road. When deputies arrived on scene they found a dog, Paco, with his legs bound together with tape and his muzzle taped shut. Through extensive investigating, the Animal Cruelty Task Force, North District Criminal Investigations Division, and Lee County Domestic Animal Services were able to identify Paco’s owner.Paco’s owner, now the suspect in our investigation, Emerito Marquez (DOB 06/14/1996), was subsequently arrested and charged with felony Animal Cruelty.Today is Marquez’s birthday, and lucky for him, a special room at the Marceno Motel has been prepared for his stay.

Sheriff Marceno

A neighbor told authorities Marquez had been mistreating the dog and left him outside chained 24/7.

Marquez’ record shows 23 previous arrests.

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