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Boat search finds animals in horrible conditions, FWC says

A derelict sailboat in Marathon’s Boot Key Harbor held a zoo’s worth of reptiles and pets in life-threatening conditions, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports.

Susanne S. Kynast, 43, a Marathon liveaboard resident known to local law enforcement, was taken into protective custody Thursday under the Baker Act. Her husband, Raymond Geisel, was also arrested Thursday on unrelated counts of stalking and threatening law officers.

An inspection of the vessel she shared with the husband revealed four cats, nine iguanas and five turtles living in “deplorable conditions,” officers reported.

Officers found “excessive layers of feces surrounding the exterior deck of the vessel, thigh-to-waist-high levels of untreated garbage, feces and vomit-stained couch cushions ... an infestation of flies and maggots,” the agency reported.

The investigators could “spend no more than three to five seconds below deck without respirators.”

Kynast was charged with 73 misdemeanor counts “including five different captive-wildlife violations per reptile on board the vessel, numerous animal-cruelty charges, multiple [public nuisance] and derelict vessel charges,” agency spokesman Officer Bobby Dube reported.

She remained in custody at press time under $36,500 bond — $500 for each of the charges. Other counts may be pending.

FWC Officers Kyle Plussa and Adam Garrison handled the investigation with help from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, Monroe County Animal Control and the State Attorney’s Office.

Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206

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