Friday, January 13, 2017

Texas: Tarrant County refuses to prosecute former vet Dr. Millard Tierce, who lied and told a family he euthanized their dog and instead kept it locked in a cage as a blood 'donor'

TEXAS -- Tarrant County prosecutors have dropped an animal-cruelty charge against a Fort Worth veterinarian who was accused of keeping a dog alive to use its blood for transfusions.

The Tarrant County district attorney's office said the charge was dismissed on the condition that 74-year-old Millard Lucien "Lou" Tierce's veterinary license remains suspended, KXAS-TV (NBC5) reports.

A grand jury declined to indict him on a theft charge.

Marian and Jamie Harris of Aledo had taken their Leonberger, Sid, for treatment at Tierce's Camp Bowie Animal Clinic in west Fort Worth in 2013.

The Harrises were told by Dr. Tierce that their beloved dog was in pain and needed to be euthanized because of a spinal defect.


Months later, the Harrises said, a former clinic employee called them and said their dog Sid was still alive, locked in a cage 24 hours a day in the back of the vet clinic and that Tierce was harvesting his blood for use in transfusions.

The Harrises retrieved Sid from the clinic, and authorities who raided the site found several animals being kept alive in cages. 

They also discovered "animal organs in jars" and "stacks of drugs, trash, laundry," as well as bugs throughout the building.

The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, which in 2014 suspended Tierce's license for five years, said Tierce admitted in a written statement that he had kept five animals alive that should have been euthanized.

But at a hearing before the board, Tierce called the allegation that he was harvesting the pets' blood "a bunch of hooey."

Tierce declined to comment on the charge's dismissal.

NBC5 reported in 2015 that Sid was still undergoing physical therapy but was well on his way to making a full recovery.

"You have those moments where you think about what he went through and that gets really hard," Marian Harris said. "And so we're real grateful to have him back."

Veterinarians around the country have dealt with a shortage of canine blood for several years, making it difficult to perform transfusions.

The vet told them euthanasia was the 'right thing to do'
because he was in so much pain. Later they found out he
was hidden away, locked inside a cage 24 hours a day
being used by the vet to harvest blood from him

But a dog blood bank — Texas' first — opened at a Grapevine animal hospital last year with the goal of ensuring there's always blood on hand for life-or-death procedures.

"It's just like in humans," said Jessica Harrod, technical manager for the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas. "In trauma situations, it's not something that can wait."

(Dallas News - Jan 12, 2017)


No comments:

Post a Comment