UK & World News
Vet Kept 'Dying' Pet Dog As Blood Donor
A vet who allegedly used a dog for blood transfusions after telling its owners the pet needed to be euthanised has been charged with cruelty to animals.
The owners of Sid, a Leonberger, discovered following a tip-off that the family pet they believed had been put down six months earlier was being kept in a cage at the clinic in Fort Worth, Texas.
Marian and Jamie Harris say vet Millard Lucien Tierce told them last autumn that Sid was terminally ill from a degenerative spinal disorder.
But Mrs Harris says a former employee at Camp Bowie Animal Clinic called her last week and said that instead of putting the dog down, Dr Tierce had kept him as a plasma donor for other pets.
The couple reportedly marched into the clinic and found Sid alive in a filthy backroom pen.
Mrs Harris said the freed dog was able to walk and jump in the back of her vehicle.
She said they took Sid to another vet for a check-up only to be told the dog did not have any serious health problems.
"The biggest hurt in all of this is the deception and what it means with something that means so much to you," Mrs Harris told the Star Telegram newspaper. "Our pets are family members."
Police and the state Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners raided the clinic on Tuesday and removed two other dogs.
On Wednesday afternoon, Dr Tierce, 71, told US media the allegations against him were "a bunch of hooey" and that he had kept the dog alive because he could not bear to euthanise the animal.
He turned himself in to police and has been released on bail.
Sid is now back home with the Harrises in the city of Aledo.