A long-time Fort Worth veterinarian accused of animal cruelty has bonded out of jail, but will not be returning to work for a while.
Millard "Lou" Tierce turned himself in to police Wednesday night for a charge of cruelty to animals, non-livestock. His was released on a $10,000 bond.
Also Wednesday night, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners notified Tierce that his license was suspended.
The veterinarian is under investigation for claims that he kept dogs alive that were supposed to be euthanized.
Investigators raided the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic on Tuesday because a former employee accused the doctor of telling clients he was going to euthanize their pets, and instead kept the animals alive and used them for blood transfusions and other medical experiments.
According to the suspension order, the investigators noted 'unsanitary conditions, animal organs kept in jars, bugs in exam rooms, open and unsecured medications.' They also found five animals Dr. Tierce had accepted for euthanasia that were still alive. One had been kept for two to three years in a cage.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, investigators seized a black and white Border Collie. "The dog was lying on the floor, twitching in pain with one leg missing, one leg dislocated, and two dislocated shoulders,”
Dr. Tierce then told investigators it was his dog, and that "…he had not euthanized the dog even though in his professional opinion he knew it needed to be.”
The document also states that a veterinary technician at the clinic told police "…she hadn't seen any medical treatment given to the dog since June 2, 2013.”
Investigators say the Border Collie was in such bad shape, they had to put it down.
Marian Harris said she filed the initial complaint against the doctor after the former employee told her that her dog, Sid, was still alive, six months after she though he had been put down.
That prompted other clients to go to the clinic in search of answers. On Wednesday afternoon, two separate families said they don't know whether their pets are alive or dead.
A dog named Maxina belonged to Rebecca Pearce. She filed a complaint Wednesday with the state, saying Dr. Tierce told her that her dog died and he gave her a can with ashes in it, but never billed her for any services. The complaint states there are no records of the cremation, so she wants to know what happened to her dog.
Another woman, Jennifer Braden, has told investigators that Tierce may have taken one of those dogs that was supposed to be put down and kept it as his pet.
Braden says she's gathering more and more evidence that the dog she and her fiancé loved, Temperance Bones, is alive.
"They cannot tell us where her remains are,” said Braden. “They can't even give us a date of the euthanization. We don't know any of this information. How can we get closure on something like this?”
Braden has filed a complaint with the state against Dr. Tierce. She says she took the dog to the Camp Bowie in October of 2012, and Tierce said the miniature dachshund needed surgery, and that if they couldn't afford it, he could euthanize the dog.
"And he just said, ‘She's done,’” said Braden. “He's like, ‘I had to euthanize her.’”
But after Tierce was arrested, Braden went door-to-door in Tierce’s neighborhood, looking for Temperance Bones. She says one of the veterinarian's neighbors gave her unsettling news.
"She immediately jumped out of her skin, saying, ‘That's the man I saw walking that dog,’” said Braden. “And she already had a picture of our dog ‘cause we gave it to her. And it was only just a few months ago."
Then Braden remembered how much Tierce liked the dog.
"He took an extreme liking to her immediately, and at the time, I took comfort in it,” she said. “Now, I think it's just creepy. I think he kidnapped my dog."
Tierce has repeatedly declined FOX 4’s request for a statement, but he told the Fort Worth Star Telegram that the allegations are "all a bunch of hooey" from a disgruntled employee.
The state veterinary board will meet within the next two weeks to decide whether his license should be revoked.
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