A Fort Worth couple filed a $1 million lawsuit against the vet who secretly kept their dog alive for six months after he was supposed to have been euthanized due to a diagnosed congenital spine defect; a defect another vet says the dog never suffered from.
In their lawsuit, Jamie and Marian Harris allege their vet, Millard Lucien "Lou" Tierce III, DVM, said he had discovered in an X-ray that the dog had a birth defect that could not be fixed. The couple, after consulting with the vet at his Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, determined the best course of action for their 170-pound Leonberger was euthanasia.
Six months later, the couple was tipped off by a vet tech at Tierce's clinic that Sid was being kept alive, caged in deplorable conditions and being used for blood donations.
The Harrises rushed to the clinic and retrieved their dog. As they left, they said Tierce tried to explain why he had kept the dog alive.
In the lawsuit, the family said they immediately took Sid to another clinic where they learned he had been "abusively kenneled," "had stressed-induced mange," and "had atrophy in his leg muscles, due to gross inactivity and the abusive kenneling," "had veins consistent with him having been used as a regular blood donor," and "definitively had no congenital spine defect."
The family said, as a result of his kenneling and abuse, Sid now requires surgery for bulging discs and is suffering from a degree of paralysis yet to be fully determined.
After placing their dog in the care of another veterinarian, the Harrises alerted law enforcement and the media to the conditions at the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic.
Tierce admitted during an investigation by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners that he had kept five dogs alive that should have been euthanized, including his own personal pet. The board temporarily suspended the doctor's veterinary license.
Tierce was also arrested and currently faces an animal cruelty charge stemming from the lack of care given to his own dog, a border collie.
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The Harris family is suing Tierce for $1 million in monetary relief for Sid's care and their family's pain and suffering.