LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Two men are facing animal cruelty charges after Lake County deputies say they performed an illegal caesarean section surgery on a pregnant dog in the middle of a living room, then posted a video of it on social media, according to deputies.
Animal cruelty investigators were tipped off on Feb. 10 after seeing a video on the popular social media video platform TikTok, according to an arrest affidavit. Authorities said the video showed a French Bulldog-type breed dog known as Lyla half-awake as her owner, along with another man, performed a C-section in a living room.
Investigators went to do a well-being check on the animal at a home along Sunrise Vista Drive in Clermont where they met the owner, 50-year-old Larry Colon. Colon said the other man involved, 33-year-old Frankie Huertas Rivera was a veterinarian.
Colon told authorities he paid Huertas Rivera $650 in cash for the operation and that the TikTok video was filmed by Colon’s 15-year-old daughter. Authorities say according to the video, other minors were present.
Animal cruelty investigators said Colon is the man seen in the video holding Lyla down as Huertas Rivera attempts to conduct the surgery on the dog as she is thrashing her head and shaking her body. The video then later shows Huertas Rivera remove puppies from Lyla’s body.
Authorities said Huertas Rivera gave the dog unknown drugs and performed the surgery without a veterinary license.
Colon then brought the dog to a vet office in Davenport. The vet at the office, who called in the complaint, said the dog arrived dead, according to the affidavit. Authorities note the dog arrived with two dead, unborn puppies inside it.
Colon and Huertas Rivera were both booked into jail last week on animal cruelty charges. Both men have since bonded out.
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