Dog found alive 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.