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Dog found alive after supposed euthanization

Dog Found Alive 6 Months After Supposed Euthanization
Texas woman Mary Harris was horrified when she received a call from her veterinarian's former employee telling them the dog they thought they euthanized six months ago was still alive.

The Harris family attorney says investigators have found evidence supporting the allegations that 71-year-old Dr. Lou Tierce kept the dog, named Sid, alive to give other dogs blood transfusions -- this after recommending that he be euthanized because of worsening health problems.

According to KTVT, Harris and her husband "marched into the clinic and found Sid living inside a cage in a back room."

Upon rescue, they immediately brought Sid to another vet, who said the dog "didn't need to be euthanized at all."

"We trusted the vet. We said our goodbyes," Harris told ABC News. "We had even talked about burial arrangements, and then six months later I get a call that he's still alive."

ABC has some background:

The Harris family first brought Sid, a 4-year-old Leonberger that is a breed also known as a "gentle giant," to Tierce in May 2013. Sid had been suffering from an anal gland problem and was kept at the vet's office for an "experimental treatment" at Tierce's recommendation, Harris said.

Family members visited Sid numerous times during the summer, they say, and discovered on a September visit that he had suddenly become unable to walk. Shortly after, the family said, they were told that Sid would need to be killed because of an inoperable congenital birth defect.

Harris said she agreed to the decision in October, assuming Sid would be euthanized within 24 hours. But she said she received a surprise call last week from a former employee of the clinic, Mary Brewer.

Dr. Tierce, who said he kept Sid alive because he couldn't bear to put him down, has been charged with animal cruelty and could lose his license if proven guilty.

Harris told KTVT:

"The betrayal is so incredibly intense that nothing you have prepares you for the emotions. There's anger, there's joy that you have your dog back, there's betrayal of this intense trust. And so it's just really hard to camp on one particular emotion."

According to ABC News, authorities are investigating multiple cases of alleged animal cruelty at the Fort Worth, Texas, clinic, where they found other dogs still alive who were said to be put down. Reportedly, they've already removed two pets as evidence following the allegations Tuesday.

Additionally, since the allegations were made public, KTVT reports clinics across North Texas have been flooded with people questioning the whereabouts of their believed-to-be deceased animals.

As for Harris's son, he's rightly confused. Harris told ABC News that he asked, "How can this happen? [The vet] is a grandpa; grandpas don't do that."

And as for the pup, Harris told ABC News that Sid is "skittish and stressed," suffering "significant atrophy in his hindquarters."

Both the former employee and current employees of the clinic have declined to comment -- and it is still unclear what Dr. Tierce's specific role is within the clinic.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
lst361 May 01 2014 at 5:33 PM

You owe it to your dog to be there for him when the time comes to euthanize him. You don't leave the dog to die with strangers on an examination table. It's difficult, certainly, but that is part of responsible ownership.

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1 reply
reakemble lst361 May 01 2014 at 5:55 PM

I have had to put down many beloved pets. Each and every one of them died in my arms. Here in Denver, we now have vets who will come to your home so your pet can passover in the place where he knew so much love. This POS vet should never be able to practice in any state and I'm not so sure the family should get the dog back. And shame on the " former" employee who waited until he was presumably fired and wanted to get back at his boss. He should have reported him anonymously the minute he knew.

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dancemom1 May 01 2014 at 6:02 PM

What a horrible thing to put that poor dog and his family through. That doctor should be put in jail and lose his license forever. This makes me sick. The law needs to be more aggressive on animal cruelty and enfore the laws to the max.

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DONNA CARUSONE May 01 2014 at 6:03 PM

I'm a dog lover...I also was around when President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas.

My daughter ran off with a Texan when she was a young girl... he ruined our lives...
.The state lacks compassionate people..
I don't like Texas;. as far as the Vet is concerned, that's a Texan for you... cruel and mean.. PUT HIM IN A CAGE!!! DON'T FEED HIM !!!!

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silvertonbwa115 May 01 2014 at 6:03 PM

This vet should be put down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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lorraine.usa May 01 2014 at 6:04 PM

I for one am so so so sick and tired of hearing about cases of animal cruelty
and abuse inflicked by heartless humans day after day what on earth is happening
to people in this world ?????????????

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Julie May 01 2014 at 6:05 PM

OMG!!!!! That man should go to jail not just lose his license. What a horrible horrible person.

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kimwalz May 01 2014 at 6:06 PM

I think I would abduct him, put him in a cage, and drain his blood every day. This is betrayal at its worst.

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tigerpawz14 May 01 2014 at 6:06 PM


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2 replies
tmoccia tigerpawz14 May 01 2014 at 6:11 PM

The vet committed a crime and your only problem is that the owner wasn't strong enough to watch their pet be put down. Really?

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2 replies
kirkinoregon tmoccia May 01 2014 at 6:20 PM

They didn't say it was their only problem...maybe they didn't want to write an article about their "problems" with this, but bring up one issue they were not comfortable with.

This vet committed a crime, and your only issue is this responders respone? Really?

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tmoccia tmoccia May 01 2014 at 7:19 PM

I have made many comments should you care to investigate.

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debij tigerpawz14 May 01 2014 at 6:18 PM

Some people couldn't stand to see a loved one die. You need to learn that this is not the time to use caps.

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1 reply
Kate debij May 01 2014 at 6:44 PM

While I agree with what you said (and just said much the same), many people who use all caps do so because they have vision problems, and cannot otherwise see what they are typing. The regular point size for comments is 8, which is extremely small.

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splendor66 May 01 2014 at 6:06 PM

That vet is an abomination. But the owners abdicated their own responsibility by not being with the dog when he was to be put down. You don't abandon a family member in their final hour.

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2 replies
jackie and john splendor66 May 01 2014 at 6:26 PM

i whole heartedly agree. just seeing that poor dog and how his tail was wagging when his owner was carrying him broke my heart!

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Kate splendor66 May 01 2014 at 6:41 PM

Some people cannot bear to be present when someone they love is going to die. Human beings do that all the time with other humans, too; don't visit in hospitals, don't want to be present for final hours. It isn't always selfishness or uncaringness-- it's trauma and grief.

The vet is definitely an abomination, but the owner? I doubt it.

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1 reply
nina Kate May 01 2014 at 8:23 PM

Sorry you don't really love them if you don't love them enough to stay with them. It is not about you it is about them and yes some times you have to suck it up and deal with the grief. You let them die alone so you don't have to feel grief . What the vet did was so wrong but at least the dog gets a second to live.

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clueseeker May 01 2014 at 6:07 PM

In a case near us at an emergency hospital where my daughter-in-law worked she reported that unclaimed animals and such as those in this story are used for spare parts and this type of thing. And she saw abuse by employees who shouldn't be around helpless animals. We need to be very vigilant about the character of the people we deal with.

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1 reply
debij clueseeker May 01 2014 at 6:18 PM

If she didn't repport this to the authorities, she's as responsible as they are.

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1 reply
Kate debij May 01 2014 at 6:36 PM

By 'she' I take it that you mean the ex employee? She may have been bound by a confidentiality clause in her terms of employment, and so to say anything would also be a crime. I agree that she should have reported it, but clearly she had a heart, or she would never have gotten in touch with the owner. She may also have been fired for refusing to participate in what was going on-- we don't know.

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