Animal lovers in Fort Worth, Texas, are reeling this week as Lou Tierce, a popular vet at Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, has been accused of stealing a dog turned over to him for euthanasia, keeping him alive and caged in inhumane conditions at the clinic, and bleeding him for plasma and “experimental treatments.”
The clinic was raided last week by plain-clothed officers and investigators confiscated two dogs, leading people to believe that more dogs may have suffered the same fate as Sid, the five-year-old dog Leonberger at the center of this outrage.
“It’s part of the investigation,” Sgt. Raymond Bush, a Fort Worth Police spokesman, told Kera News. “At this point, these animals are evidence.”
Jim Eggleston, the attorney who is representing the family who owns Sid, told the Star-Telegram, “You have a vet keeping dogs under false pretenses. You have family pets that people thought were cremated or put down peacefully that may still be alive.”
The bizarre claims came to light thanks to a former clinic employee, Mary Brewer, who called the Harris family and said their dog, which they had turned over to the doctor six months earlier for euthanasia, was still alive and was being kept in a filthy cage around the clock. Marian Harris later claimed the dog was being bled for blood transfusions and “experiments.”
“It was like getting punched in the stomach and then some,” said Harris.
The Harris family had turned the dog over to the vet for euthanasia because he had a congenital spine disease — or so the vet claimed. He had been giving the dog a new “cold laser” treatment and he told the family that the dog’s condition would deteriorate and he would lose the ability to walk.
But, in fact, when the Harris family went to rescue the dog after talking to the former employee, they found out he could walk, and he appeared fine, excited to see his family. He even jumped into their van after they broke him out of the vet.
That rescue, by the way, sounds intense: The Harrises had friends guard the doors, and they stormed in, distracted the receptionist, went into the back, found Sid, and took him outside. The vet followed and attempted to explain himself.
As for the validity of the charges of bleeding dogs, Jim Eggleston, the attorney representing the Harris family, told UPI that the vet now treating the dog “could not find a blood vein on the dog.”
“There was evidence this dog has been bled — a lot,” he said.
The vet also didn’t find any evidence of the congenital spine disease and said he didn’t need to euthanized in the first place. He was treated for mange and shows signs of being “abusively kenneled,” according to the New York Daily News.
Now Sid is finally home with his family. Police have not filed charges against Tierce, as the investigation is ongoing. As the news broke, a handful people who took their pets to euthanized at the clinic showed up there, wanting to know if their dogs were alive like Sid.
“The betrayal is so incredibly intense that nothing you have prepares you for the emotions,” Harris told CBS. “There’s anger, there’s joy that you have your dog back, there’s betrayal of this intense trust.”
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