A Fort Worth Vet Is Accused of Keeping Family's "Euthanized" Dog Alive To Harvest Its Blood [Updated]
Update on April 30: The Star-Telegram spoke to veterinarian Lou Tierce, who called the allegations "all a bunch of hooey."
"The lady wanted me to euthanize their dog, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it," he told the paper.
He denies the allegations that he mistreated the animals.
Original post: Weatherford attorney Jim Eggleston is, at the moment, standing in Fort Worth, watching the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic. A cop is stationed out front, guarding the door. Additional officers are inside, as are investigators with the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and representatives of the Humane Society of North Texas. They've been in there for two hours.
Eggleston is in Fort Worth on behalf of clients, Jamie and Marian Harris of Aledo, who filed a complaint last week with the state alleging that their dog, which they were told had been euthanized, was being kept alive as a source of blood transfusions.
The claim sounds nuts, Eggleston admits, like something from "Little Shop of Horrors," but he says their suspicions are well-grounded. The family had agreed in October to euthanize Sid, their 5-year-old, 175-pound Leonberger, after learning of a congenital spine defect from the vet, Lou Tierce.
Seven months later, they were alerted to Sid's continued existence by a vet tech who told them about the blood transfusions and other mistreatment of animals. The Harrises, according to the Star-Telegram, immediately stormed the clinic, fetched their dog and took them to another veterinarian.
"He could not find a blood vein on this dog," Eggleston says. "There was evidence this dog has been bled -- a lot."
The results aren't conclusive, but Eggleston says an MRI and an exam by the second vet suggest the dog does not, in fact, have a congenital spine defect.
So, Tierce allegedly lied to the family about euthanizing their dog. Whether the family can definitively prove that their dog was bled and mistreated depends on what investigators find in the clinic, Eggleston says.
So far, investigators haven't said much, announcing only that they'll be removing two or three dogs as "evidence." Attempts to reach Tierce, who's apparently inside the clinic with investigators, were unsuccessful.
— Lauren Zakalik (@wfaalauren) April 29, 2014
Tierce was unavailable for comment when we called the clinic.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.