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Police were alerted to a disturbing case of animal cruelty after a dog owner’s teenage daughter recorded the men performing an illegal, at-home c-section surgery on the pregnant dog. The dog and two of her 10 puppies died as a result of the cruel procedure.
On February 10, 2021, Lake County Animal Cruelty Investigators visited the Clermont, Florida home of Larry Colon, 50, to perform an animal well-being check after a video posted to TikTok showed two males performing illegal c-section surgery on a pregnant French Bulldog in the living room of the dog owner’s home.
According to the Probable Cause Affidavit, Colon allegedly paid Frankie Huertas-Rivera $650 to perform an at-home c-section on his pregnant French Bulldog, Lyla. Colon told investigators that he believed Huertas-Rivera was a veterinarian. However, when Colon took Lyla to a veterinary hospital following the illegal procedure, he told staff that the surgery was performed at his house “by a friend of a friend that is unlicensed” as he was “trying to save money and knew that it was not what should have been done.”
The c-section was filmed and uploaded to TikTok by Colon’s 15-year old daughter and also shows additional minors present, witnessing the horrific surgery in which Colon holds Lyla down while Huertas-Rivera cuts her abdomen open. According to the affidavit, when Lyla is cut, her body shakes and contracts while she squirmed in pain, her head thrashing back and forth, indicating that she was not sufficiently sedated and suffered immense pain.
Lyla, along with the two puppies still inside her uterus, was dead on arrival at the hospital. Dr. Ricci May, DVM diagnosed the death as a result of “septic shock secondary to contamination and additional feti left in the uterus due to non-sterile surgery performed by an unlicensed individual with medical care and diagnostics that do not meet minimum requirements to be safe for the patient.” Dr. May also noted that Lyla and her unborn puppies suffered unjust cruelty and suffering due to the unethical medical services performed at the Colon home and urged investigators to assess the safety and well-being of the eight puppies that survived the illegal surgery.
Both men were arrested on animal cruelty charges on February 12. Huertas-Rivera is facing an additional charge for performing an unlicensed veterinary surgery. Both men were released on bond and are scheduled for arraignment in March.