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Lake County sheriff’s captain rescues ditched puppy

A Lake County sheriff’s captain is being lauded for saving a puppy that was ditched by an 18-year-old woman.

Lake County sheriff’s Capt. Todd Luce rescued this puppy after it was ditched in Eustis recently. Anna Marie Kist, 18, was arrested in connection with the incident.
Capt. Todd Luce

Capt. Todd Luce recently saw a tan vehicle pull off S Bay Street in Eustis near W Badger Avenue and put the puppy out. The vehicle then drove away with the dog chasing it in busy traffic, which forced several vehicles to swerve to avoid hitting the animal, a sheriff’s office report states.

Luce stopped the vehicle, which was driven by 18-year-old Anna Marie Kist, of Umatilla. After retrieving the puppy from traffic, Luce spoke with Kist and advised of her rights.

Kist claimed that her sister could no longer care for the dog and this was her way of getting rid of it. Luce noted that the situation “seemed to be amusing to Ms. Kist, even when she was told the animal was almost struck by vehicles,” the report says.

Anna Marie Kist

Deputies and Animal Enforcement Officers responded and noted that the puppy was severely malnourished but in good spirits. The dog was released to Lake County Animal Services and provided treatment.

Kist, who lives in the East Lake Apartments in Umatilla, was arrested and charged with animal abandonment. She was released on $1,000 bond and is due in court on Nov. 19 at 8 a.m. to answer to the charge.

Luce’s younger brother, Erik, is the chief of police in Fruitland Park. The elder Luce held the Bible during the swearing-in ceremony in April as Erik Luce officially took the oath of office from Mayor Chris Cheshire to serve as Fruitland Park’s police chief.

Lake County sheriff’s Capt. Todd Luce, center, holds the Bible for his younger brother, Erik, in April as he is sworn in as Fruitland Park’s police chief by Mayor Chris Cheshire. Todd Luce is being lauded for saving a puppy and arresting the woman that dumped the dog onto a busy road in Eustis.

“I’m very proud,” a choked-up Todd Luce said after the ceremony. “That commitment that he gave to the citizens is from the heart and he meant every bit of it.”

Todd Luce said he also was thrilled to hold the Bible for his brother during the swearing-in ceremony.

“I was very honored to even be considered to do that for him,” he said. “It was a highlight.”

The puppy that Lake County sheriff’s Capt. Todd Luce rescued was severely malnourished but was reported to be doing well at the Lake County Animal Shelter.

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