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Ft. Worth Veterinarian Accused Of Secretly Keeping 'euthanized' Pets Alive
FOX 4 (myfoxdfw.com)
FT. WORTH, Tex. (FOX DFW) -- A complaint against a long-time Fort Worth veterinarian alleges some animals that the owners believed were euthanized were kept alive. The accusers told investigators the vet wanted the animals for their blood.
Fort Worth police and medical board investigators raided the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic on Tuesday, acting on a complaint filed by Marian Harris against Dr. Lou Tierce.
"The betrayal is so incredibly intense,” said Harris, a former client of the clinic.
The Harris family took their 170-pound dog, a Leonberger named Sid, to Dr. Tierce in May of last year. In October, the family was told Sid had a congenital birth defect.
According to the complaint filed with the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, "Mr. Harris asked whether there was anything that could be done to cure this condition, and Dr. Tierce restated that nothing could be done," and Sid would have to be put down.
Harris even brought her son to the clinic to say goodbye to Sid.
"So I brought him in and had our tearful goodbyes, and we went over very specifically our plans for burial of Sid, and that was the end of it,” she said.
Former clinic employee Mary Brewer said she was working there when Sid was allegedly supposed to be euthanized. But six mother later, she says she saw Sid alive and gave the Harris family the disturbing news.
"I remember coming in and them extracting blood from Sid, and basically shaving him, extracting his blood for the other animal upstairs,” said Brewer.
According to the complaint, "The clinic was using Sid (and other dogs) for blood transfusions and other experimental treatments.”
Harris actually managed to steal her dog back, and then confronted Dr. Tierce.
"He said, ‘I didn't put him down because my staff said they would quit if I did,’” said Marian. “And so, we kind of felt like that was an admission of knowing what our intentions had been and willfully not following them.”
According to the complaint, another veterinarian examined Sid and determined that among other things, "he had mange and shows definite signs of having been used for blood transfusions.”
Brewer says there was also a cat that Dr. Tierce was supposed to put down.
"He was brought in to be euthanized because he had an abscess in his mouth and couldn't eat, and Dr. Tierce changed his name to Graling, had us put him in the dog ward and left him there, and this time that I came back in in 2013, he's still there,” said Brewer.
As word of the investigation spread, clients showed up at the clinic to support Tierce.
"He's not known to get much sleep at night and he can be pretty grumpy with people, but he's damn good with the animals," said Sharry Wershay.
"I have faith in Dr. Tierce. I'm not worried that he's doing anything wrong," said Steven Gant.
Another woman said she believes the Harris family is responsible for what happened to Sid. She criticized them for not staying with their beloved pet until he took his last breath.
Dr. Tierce declined to comment about the allegations.
Investigators removed two dogs from the clinic on Tuesday.
Harris' attorney said he was told the' findings during the raid were consistent with what the former employee alleged, but the investigators would not confirm that information for FOX 4.
The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners will hold an emergency meeting next week regarding the case. Also, investigators will meet Wednesday with police and the district attorney to discuss possible criminal charges.
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