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Vets Behaving Badly

Texas makes national headlines with horror story of animal cruelty

Camp Bowie Animal Clinic
Authorities believe Lou Tierce committed animal cruelty at his clinic. Photo via veooz.com
Vet Lou Tierce
Lou Tierce was arrested April 30. Photo courtesy of Tarrant County Jail

A Texas veterinarian has made national news after allegedly using a family's dog for blood transfusions. Veterinarian Lou Tierce, owner of Camp Bowie Animal Clinic in Fort Worth, allegedly kept the dog alive after tell its owners it had been put to sleep.

Tierce was arrested April 30 after turning himself in to the police. He posted $10,000 bond and was released the same day.

Documents made public by WFAA Channel 8 include allegations that Tierce performed repeated blood transfusions on the dog, a Leonberger named Sid, after telling its owners he would euthanize the canine due to a glandular disorder in 2013.

Owners Marian and James Harris didn't learn their pet was still alive until April 2014.

Mary Brewer, a technician at Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, told the couple that Sid had been kept alive for "medical experiments" and remained in his cage for more than 23 hours each day. After hearing the news, the Harrises returned to Tierce's clinic and retrieved Sid.

On April 29, the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medicine cited Tierce for unsanitary conditions at Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, including keeping animal organs in jars, piling trash in exam rooms and leaving controlled substances "strewn about the clinic."

While the news had spurred an outpouring of criticism over Tierce's alleged behavior, some customers have come to his defense. "You people haven't even give[n] the vet a chance to tell his side what happened. The owner of the dog ask[ed] him to put the dog down due to cost. He didn't have the heart to due (sic) this, so he took it on his own to care for the dog," one review of the clinic reads.

Tierce allegedly told board investigators that he kept five animals alive solely for use in blood transfusions. In the wake of the allegations, the state board has suspended Tierce's license. A hearing will determine if the temporary suspension will be made permanent.

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