A Fort Worth, Texas veterinarian has been arrested on suspicion of cruelty to animals after a family alleged their dog was kept alive without their knowledge for blood transfusions instead of being euthanized, The Star-Telegram reports.
The veterinarian, 71-year-old Millard Lou Tierce, turned himself in on Wednesday and was released on $US10,000 bail. He denied the complaint, telling the Telegram it was “all a bunch of hooey.”
The dog at the center of the allegations, a 5-year-old Leonberger named “Sid,” was taken to the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic by Jamie and Marian Harris about six months ago for a minor anal gland issue, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. After the treatment however, Sid was barely able to walk.
According to court documents, Dr. Tierce told the family it was a reaction to the medication. With the dog’s condition not improving, the doctor later allegedly discovered a defect on Sid’s upper spine, and the family was told nothing could be done.
The couple and their son said their goodbyes, and agreed to have him euthanized and buried on Tierce’s farm, according to NBC.
But six months later, the couple received a phone call from an employee at the clinic, telling them their dog was alive and being used for blood transfusions.
“I felt I had to let those people know that I couldn’t protect their dog anymore,” Mary Brewer told the Telegram, explaining further why she delayed in telling the family out of fear for her job. “I kept quiet for a long time because no one wants to lose their job. I needed the paycheck. I had bills to pay.”
Police raided the facility and seized several animals as evidence. As for Sid, he was taken back home with the Harris family, and is being treated by other vets.
The family’s lawyer told NBC that doctors determined he has mange, displayed signs of being used for blood transfusions and shows evidence of being “abusively kenneled.”
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