LCSO Deputy Chance is a dog with a story to tell. Found abandoned after suffering cruel abuse and having his mouth taped shut, Chance has slowly regained his health and climbed the social ladder in one fell swoop: he’s been employed at the sheriff’s office.

Chance was originally discovered roaming the streets of southwest Florida after the Lee County Domestic Animal Services received a call from a concerned resident. His mouth had been sealed shut with red electrical tape, and he was dehydrated, starving, and bleeding from wounds on his leg and chest. According to Fox 13, the perpetrator was nowhere to be found.

Chance was in visible distress, panting, drooling, and struggling to breathe. LCDAS took the dog in and he was quickly assessed by a veterinarian.

It didn’t take long for Chance’s buoyant spirit to return, however, and in early March of 2019, he was adopted. Deputy Richard Castellon is delighted to have taken him in: “Dogs are in my blood,” the deputy said, speaking to WINK News. “Even when I saw the story myself, you know, it was horrific… Animals, they’re innocent.”

Chance, now 1 year old, has more than just typical house pet duties to fulfill: he’s got a job! Sheriff Carmine Marceno of Lee County Sheriff’s Office didn’t hesitate in welcoming the extraordinary dog onto their tight-knit team. “He’s part of the family,” the sheriff said.

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Even though Chance is now safe and sound, Deputy Castellon knows that the recovered canine is representative of thousands who suffer similar abuse. He is adamant that the fight isn’t over. “We can’t allow; we can’t sit back and let anyone abuse an animal,” he stated.

Sheriff Marceno told WINK News that he is investigating ways to crack down on animal abuse. “We want to start thinking about what we can do to stiffen the penalties,” the sheriff said. County ordinance confirms that, at present, a third-offense animal cruelty fine stands at a fairly insignificant US$500. Many would argue that this fine should be much, much higher.

“It seems like a very light penalty,” said Karen Fordiani, who works at Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

Even after offenders pay the penalty, animals still suffer the fate of being neglected or abused. “It’s very frustrating,” Fordiani said. “We’ll see the same animals impounded and then sometimes the second or third time. We see them hit by a car.”

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To avoid this act from being repeated over and over again by offenders, the sheriff’s office hopes to create a database.

“So they go on a list and we can track them and see is this someone that’s a repeat offending, is it a first-time offense?” the sheriff said. “For me, one offense is too many.”

Chance is one of the lucky ones. Now in excellent health, the incredibly well-behaved young pup was deputized on Thursday, March 7, 2019, and is now enjoying a jam-packed itinerary.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office chronicled the dog’s first day at work on their Facebook page. “Eager to get his paws dirty, Deputy Chance sprang into action this weekend,” they wrote, cheerfully. Unwilling to ignore the opportunity for a joke, they continued: “When asked to describe his first day on duty, Deputy Chance stated: ‘ruff.’”

Deputy Chance clearly has a sense of humor. By all accounts, his first day was full of excitement and his duties were numerous.

The dog accompanied Sheriff Marceno to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Spinz Roller Skating Center in Fort Myers, and was warmly welcomed by the crowds. Showing commendable endurance, Deputy Chance then attended the Lee County Sheriff’s Office “Teen Driver Challenge” in Lehigh Acres. There was much to keep the young pup entertained, including the hair-raising spectacle of fast cars maneuvering through complex obstacle courses.

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Chance’s young life is exponentially enriched by the care of a loving family and his new job as an LCSO Deputy (and we’re willing to bet he’s the most popular one).

As for his next assignment? Keep living your best life, Deputy Chance! You thoroughly deserve it.


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