There is a bizarre case out of Tampa where Candace Patricia Hauser is facing one charge of aggravated cruelty to animals . Brenda Hines, 31, brought her Mastiff, Nadia, to Hauser’s house to see if she could help deliver puppies. Nadia was able to delivered (with help) the first 12 puppies but had trouble on the last two. Hauser proceeded to do a canine Caesarian and cut open Nadia to deliver the final two puppies. She then used standard, non-surgical glue to close the wound. This was all done without anesthesia and Nadia died.
Hines reportedly pulled out 12 puppies by hand when the dog could not push them out and then cut open the dog open for the remaining puppies. Notably, Nadia was described to police as being in declining health.
Hines brought Nadia to an animal hospital to say that she was afraid that Nadia was dying. The veterinarian told her that she had already died.
Putting aside the anesthesia issues, the case could raise some interesting questions. First there is the fact that home deliveries are lawful and Hines brought Nadia to Hauser. She presumably knew consent — expressly or implicitly — to the C-section decision. Second there is the proximate cause issue. In a home delivery by non-veterarians, would Nadia have likely died from the breach birth or complications even without the C-Section? Would a doctor have performed a C-section under such circumstances? Hauser was apparently not holding herself out as a doctor but responding to an emergency by a neighbor. Yet, even when someone fraudulently purports to be a doctor, they can be found not liable in a civil proceeding if their actions met the standard for a professional. What would happen if the defense could present a doctor who testifies that he would have taken the same measures to save the two lives while hoping to save the life of the mother?
The charges notably do not include any fraudulent claims. The question is whether the charge is based on the C-section or just the lack of anesthesia or both? The latter is clearly horrific and cruel. However, it will be interesting to see how the court defines the range of options for an owner in dealing with a breached birth.
She is facing a third-degree felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals which carried a maximum of five years behind bars and the lost right to own animals in Hillsborough County.