A Texas veterinary is under investigation after a family said that their dog was still alive and being used for blood transfusions six month after doctors told them the animal had to be euthanized.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Marian Harris and her family had brought their dog, Sid, to the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic in May 2013 to deal with a common anal gland problem. When Sid seemed to be getting worse by September, the family was told he would need to be put down because of a congenital spinal defect.
Staff at the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic agreed to take care of the euthanasia and burial arrangements. So, the family said their final goodbyes and left Sid at the clinic.
Marian Harris said that she was “shocked” when she got a call six months later from one of the clinic’s former veterinary technicians, telling her that Sid was still alive — and he could walk.
The former employee reportedly said that the animal was being kept in a cage littered with feces for almost 24 hours a day. She said that she had quit because of the way the animals were mistreated.
The family drove to the clinic and distracted the receptionist while Jamie Harris went into the back and rescued Sid. Another veterinarian later told the Harrises that it appeared that the dog had been used for blood transfusions.
Marian Harris said that Sid was being “bled” for plasma and used for other experimental treatments.
“The biggest hurt in all of this is the deception and what it means with something that means so much to you,” Marian Harris explained. “Our pets are family members.”
Authorities raided Camp Bowie Animal Clinic on Tuesday and recovered two other dogs after the Harrises filed a complaint against longtime veterinarian Lou Tierce.
Harris family attorney Jim Eggleston told the Star-Telegram that the clinic had also been accused of keeping other animals alive for transfusions and other experiments.
“You have a vet keeping dogs under false pretenses,” he pointed out. “You have family pets that people thought were cremated or put down peacefully that may still be alive.”
According to KTVT, no charges have been filed in the case, but an investigation was ongoing.
Watch the video below from KTVT, broadcast April 29, 2014.
Watch the video below from WFAA, broadcast April 29, 2014.