Updated: It gets worse. The vet admits keeping five dogs alive even though he had told their families that he would euthanize them, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. One canine was kept in a cage for as many as three years; at least one was denied medical treatment and found “twitching in pain” on the floor. The conditions at the clinic were said to be “deplorable.” Why didn’t the workers at the veterinary clinic turn him in? Should they be charged, too?
Original post: If true, it’s like something out of a horror movie or sci-fi novel. Think Coma.
Sid, a 4-year-old Leonberger, was suffering from a degenerative spinal defect and needed to be put to sleep, a family in Texas claim they were told by a vet six months ago, the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
But last week, the Harrises say, they were contacted by a veterinary technician who said that she’d left her job at the clinic because animals were being abused — in filthy cages 24/7. Sid wasn’t dead, she said.
He was being kept alive to give other dogs blood, according to the Harrises’ attorney.
Marian and her husband immediately sprang into action and went to the vet to rescue Sid. While her husband distracted the receptionist and friends stood as lookouts, Marian hunted for their pup. He was found in a cage in a back room and happily jumped into her minivan.
Perhaps the most chilling part of the Harrises’ complaint is what happened next: The vet, Lou Tierce, then talked to Marian outside his clinic and allegedly told her that employees had threatened to quit if he had euthanized Sid.
The Harrises whisked Sid away to another animal hospital, where he was said to be fine. But the vet there noticed something: Sid showed signs of blood transfusions.
Jim Eggleston, the Harrises attorney, tells the Telegram that Sid was used as a blood donor and to test experimental treatments. He has heard that it may have happened to other dogs and some cats, too.
Fort Worth investigators descended on Tierce’s clinic on Tuesday. Two dogs were taken away by authorities. Officials did find important evidence, Eggleston claims.
Tierce, a popular vet who’s been in business since 1966, denies everything. ”It’s all a bunch of hooey,” says the 71-year-old, blaming a disgruntled employee for the accusations.
But Wednesday night, Tierce was arrested.
“The betrayal is so incredibly intense that nothing you have prepares you for the emotions,” Marian tells CBS Dallas/Fort Worth. “There’s anger, there’s joy that you have your dog back.”
Sid’s finally where he should be — at home with the Harrises.
Read more here.
Watch a TV interview and footage of the raid on Tierce’s clinic here.