Animal Ethics: Now THIS Is An Unethical Veterinarian

Believe it or not, Dean Jones was a NICE vet compared to Dr. Tierce...

Believe it or not, Dean Jones was a NICE vet compared to Dr. Tierce…

Yechh. This story reads like a sick version of “Beethoven,” which, as all you Charles Grodin fans will recall, featured a villainous veterinarian (Dean Jones, no longer cute) who stole pets to use for medical research.

In Fort Worth, Texas, Jamie and Marian Harris took their dog, a 5-year-old Leonberger named Sid, to the well-respected  Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, to be treated for what they thought was a minor health issue. After undergoing treatment,  Sid developed trouble walking and the veterinarian, Dr. Lou Tierce, told the Harrises that  their dog  had an untreatable spinal condition that would get worse, cause him increasing pain, and ultimately cripple him completely. The family was told the best option was to have Sid euthanized. The couple and their young son agreed, said their goodbyes and authorized the clinic to bury Sid on the vet’s farm.

Six months later, a veterinarian technician named Mary Brewer, who worked at Camp Bowie, contacted the Harrises to inform them that Sid was alive and being kept alive in a cage, surrounded by his urine and feces, so he could be used for blood transfusions to treat other dogs.

Sure enough, Sid was still at the clinic, being used as an involuntary blood bank. He was rescued, Camp Bowie is shuttered, and Tierce is in custody. Hilariously, he has accused Brewer of being a “disgruntled employee.” What kind of defense is that? Unless he’s claiming that this disgruntled employee has magic power s and conjured Sid from this grave at Tierce’s farm to make this vet from Hell look guilty, her motives have no bearing on his conduct at all.

On his blog, law professor  Jonathan Turley, a dog-lover, examines the legal issues in the case. The laws seem inadequate to fully punish the clinic and and its owner for this horrific conduct. The clinic lied to the family, conspired to take their pet, took payment for treatment and a euthanizing that didn’t take place, made money off of the dog’s blood, and treated the dog cruelly. Ethically, however, the verdict is easy. If the allegations are true…and since Sid is alive after six months and able to walk just fine, it seems overwhelmingly likely that they are…Tierce is dishonest, cruel, venal and untrustworthy, and for someone in his profession especially, is the scum of the earth. When my family had to euthanize our beloved English Mastiff, Patience (like Sid and Beethovan a giant breed—the biggest, in fact), we had it done at our home, in part for her comfort and also because my wife had what I thought then was an irrational fear that veterinary clinics sometimes did horrible things to dogs entrusted to them. Two pet-owning ethics lessons—the applicable values are competence, responsibility, loyalty, trust and kindness— from this story are

1) If a vet says your pet needs to be put down, get a second opinion and

2) Be with your pet when it is put to sleep.

What I want to know is this: why did it take six months for an employee of that clinic to alert the Harrises or authorities about Sid’s mistreatment? There had better be more Camp Bowie staff than just Dr. Tierce facing charges…including Mary Brewer. Sid should not have had to wait for her to become “disgruntled” to be rescued.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hug my Jack Russell terrier and give him a biscuit.

_________________________________

Pointer: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Facts: NBC, Res Ipsa Loquitur

 

116 thoughts on “Animal Ethics: Now THIS Is An Unethical Veterinarian

  1. America is a weird culture in that we treat our pets, especially dogs, as little surrogate innocent humans. So anytime you hear about someone mistreating an animal, the internet explodes with calls for torture and murder of the ofending party. It’s ridiculous. I know its ridiculous. I still want five minutes alone with him though…

      • Pitbull smear!!!

        This furthers the very harmful bias against pitbulls and breeds often mistaken for them, suggesting they are unusually vicious or dangerous. The pitbull is no more dangerous than any large, strong breed, and in terms of natural temperment, intelligence, tolerance and patience, is less so.. But the bias, mostly fed by those who know nothing about the breed and careless news reporting, has caused many municipalities (and states, like Maryland) to pass anti-pitbull, bigoted laws that have cost thousands of loving, harmless canine companions their lives and homes, and also harmed their owners and families, financially and psychically.

        I’ve written about this here, here, here, here and here

        Yes, it’s an important issue, and yes, I care a great deal about it. You aren’t to blame—the bad information is everywhere, and only those who pay a lot of attention to dogs—not just dog owners but those who actually study them—are likely to be immune to the terrible information spread by the news media and hysterics. Just go forth from this day and help spread the truth rather than be an agent of the bigotry.

        Remember this face:

        I’d suggest substituting pumas, wolverines, Tasmanian Devils, Orcs or army ants for “pitbulls.”

      • You are sick. I thought in this country a person was innocent till proven guilty. I’ve known Dr Tierce for 20 yrs and he wouldn’t spend his whole caring for sick animals if he didn’t love for them. I bet you don’t know him and or stupid enough to believe all the negativity in the new. Shame on you.

        • “You always hurt the ones you love.” “Love” is not part of the crime, nor part of the defense. In fact, it’s irrelevant to the issue, and proves nothing, and also can’t be proved.

    • used this business for years before i moved to Dallas. My Fort Worth friends still do, Dr. Tierce is an outstanding vet, Don’t believe everything in print, on TV, or on the internet. As is often the case, media has it all wrong. This started with a convicted felon who was fired and had an axe to grind, and a client who brought her dog to be euthanized but did not want to pay for it, and just abandoned her pet there. If the dog were sick, he would not be used as a donor dog. Using dogs and cats as blood donors is not uncommon for clinics, and the dogs don’t mind. There are often residents in clinics for this reason.

      My personal experience with Dr. Tierce: When my beloved dog Flossie was sick, he took great care of her. When she finally died, he buried her on his land and sent a donation in her name to a veterinary group in Austin.

      I spoke with a friend in FW last night who told me Dr. Tierce came to her home in the middle of the night when her dog was sick, and helped her bury him when he died.

      Other vets referred to him when they could not solve a problem, or arrive at a diagnoses, or needed a tricky surgery. He is not only skilled, but compassionate.

      I have and always will have nothing but love and respect for Lou Tierce.

      There is clearly more to this horrible and inaccurate story.

      • HUH???? Why was the dog kept at the vet’s for six months? If the dog was brought to be euthanized, it would have been euthanized. If the dog was not purchased, the vet had no right to keep it. If it was abandoned, it would go to Animal Rescue; if not, it would be returned. Under no circumstances could the animal be used as a blood bank. “Using dogs and cats as blood donors is not uncommon for clinics,” is a pure rationalization, and an absurd one. “And the dogs don’t mind?????? Prove it. Do you mind having doctors bleed you without your consent?

        Your post is deranged. No wonder you think the vet is swell.

      • “If the dog were sick, he would not be used as a donor dog.”

        That’s the point isn’t it? He told the owners it was so sick it needed to be put down…and then he kept the dog (that the owners thought was dead) for six months and used it for blood transfusions, so it couldn’t have been sick, could it? You can’t ignore deception of this magnitude, try as you might.
        You can’t make up ‘negativity’ like the filth that’s documented in law enforcement’s reports on the scene, or are the police also accomplices in smearing an
        innocent man?

      • Never leave your pet alone to be euthanized. Always tell those vets what you are paying for & what you will not pay for. Have as much done in front of you as possible b/c they do bad things when your not in the room. Thye need to be told to call you from surgery if something arises so you can decide what need to be done this way nothing unauthorized occurs. Good vets know to call you. Second opinions are a must, if Vets are not abusers they are just greedy, if they are not greedy, they are not smart enough to diagnose accurately. If they diagnose properly they fall short in treating. Their fragile ego’s, the over confidence of dominating clients with their so called “education” that to many only memorized to pass that exam to attain that degree, but truly did not learn much, then you have the monster Vets that are just plain cruel. I have 30 years of experiences with “Vets” as a paying client.
        I am heartbroken! As of this month no more pets for me my heart just can’t take it.

      • Thanks…this is an excellent running account of the Sid v. Dr. Tierce story.

        From this site is the arrest warrant in the case, which, frankly, makes his defenders here appear ludicrous:

        EXCERPT OF ARREST WARRANT FOR DR. TIERCE – 4-29-14

        Detective J.D. Brady, Fort Worth Police Department:

        The dog was lying on the floor twitching in pain with one leg missing, one leg dislocated and two dislocated shoulders. I then spoke to the suspect, Dr. Millard Lucien Tierce. He told me that the injured black and white collie was his dog. He said he had given water and food to the dog but had not given any medical treatment to the dog. He said he had not euthanized the dog even though in his professional opinion he knew it needed to be.

        Dr. Morris, DVM, of the Fort Worth Animal Clinic, arrived on the scene and performed an evaluation of the dog. He informed me that in his professional opinion the animal was a victim of animal cruelty and the conditions of the clinic were deplorable.

        Animal Cruelty Investigator R. Jacobs spoke to Dr. Millard Tierce. Tierce told him he knew the dog needed to be euthanized but he did not allow it. He signed over ownership of his dog to the Fort Worth Animal Control and the Fort Worth Animal Control took the dog to their facility.

        On April 29, 2014, Dr. M.L. Morris, DVM examined the black and white border collie. Dr. Morris concluded that the dog was emaciated, had severe mouth disease, cataracts, abnormal overall health, non-ambulatory bottom of foot missing, had a degenerative neurological and untreatable disease and should have been euthanized when originally accepted for treatment. The dog was then euthanized by the city of Fort Animal Shelter.

        Due to the aforementioned facts and information being related to me as a result of this investigation, I have reason to believe and do believe that Millard Lucien Tierce, did commit the offense of Cruelty
        to Non-Livestock Animals, against the laws of the State of Texas as set forth in the Penal Code; 42.092 (b)(l).

  2. I’ve always stayed with my pets during the euthanasia because I don’t think the last face they ever see should be a stranger.
    I hold them in my arms.
    Then we bury them on our property.
    Yeah, I know it’s probably illegal but I’ve heard too many stories from people who worked in the business about animal bodies going out with the trash and grieving owners being given just *any* ashes.

  3. I watched the video.
    Sid is a lovely boy and he looks very sad.
    How can you have a heart and then do something like that.

  4. Ah beat me to it. I was hoping to send this your way. Probably end up in the spam file with the others.

    Ha.

    I’ll comment later. Fixing up te rent house for new tenants today.

  5. This is so unconscionable that I just can’t get my mind around it. And animals are innocents, which makes it even worse to use/abuse them this way. We have had to euthanize dogs in the past; we’ve always stayed with them or had a vet come to our home to do it.

    How can this happen? It is harder to get into vet school than med school… primarily because there are so few vet schools… But I have always assumed that vets go into that profession because of love of animals….

    Jack, please follow up on this story and find out what happens to this vet’s professional and (I hope) criminal future.

    But upon reflection: we all assume MDs go into the practice of medicine for the “right” reasons, but the continuing evidence of unethical and narcissistic doctors damaging and killing patients mounts up every day.

    So the question is: WHOM DO YOU TRUST?

  6. Although unethical and morally bankrupt, this veterinarian is not the only person that ought to be brought up on criminal charges. Any pet owner who isn’t present at that pet’s euthanasia is not a whole lot better than the vet. Recent animal cognizance research has convincingly shown that dogs (not to mention many other species as well) are not just stimulus-response creatures. Rather, they are (in various degrees) emotional, thinking and loving animals. When an individual takes on the responsibility of living with, bonding with and caring for a pet, that responsibility always includes the incredibly difficult and emotional task of being with that creature at the end of its mortal existence. Anyone who thinks otherwise has no business having a pet of any species.

    • Well, quite a bit better: they didn’t steal, lie. deceive or take the pet from human beings—or torture a dog for six months. I agree that they should have been with their pet…but ironically, if they were, he’d be dead now.

      You have managed to make me feel guilty about not being with one of our dogs that we had euthanized after he attacked our young son, after previously doing the same with me and my wife. He was a sweet dog 95% of the time, but would just snap. I should have been with him in his last moments;you are right.

  7. If you can do something like this to someone’s beloved pet, there’s really not much in the way of wanton cruelty you’re NOT capable of. It’s been noted that one of the quickest ways of telling that a child is developing into depravity is if he begins to exhibit cruelty to animals. This is also even more true of adults. It’s just a small step from that to abusing women and children. I’m just glad that this particular story had a happy ending.

        • The presumption is that absent consent, any donor is an involuntary donor. I’m sure Karen would say that the dog also was happy to give up a kidney, too. One can presume consent in one incapable of communication when the act is for that being’s own health and welfare. When it is not, however, as in this case, no consent can be presumed.

          Karen argument is nauseating, and deeply rooted in unethical attitudes toward animals.

          • Indeed. Opening to the next point:

            Barring the invention of a synthetic alternate that works in a dog’s system (and maybe this has occurred… I don’t know) blood transfusions for dogs wouldn’t ever happen. Correct?

            • Well, they wouldn’t happen WITH DOGS THAT BELONG TO SOMEONE ELSE!

              I’m not being sentimental here—I recognize that dogs need transfusions, and other dogs have to give donate the blood for them. So every healthy dog being cared for at a shelter has to give some blood, as part of its payment for food and lodging. Or every pet housed by a vet is approved for one donation by the owner. You don’t have to be PETA to see what’s wrong with surreptitiously keeping one big dog in a cage just to take blood from it.

            • Barring the invention of a synthetic alternate that works in a dog’s system (and maybe this has occurred… I don’t know) blood transfusions for dogs wouldn’t ever happen. Correct?
              ************
              Some years back our vet told us a transfusion might help our cat, who was suffering from Feline Leukemia.
              The idea was to get a unit of blood out of my other cat.
              With cats you don’t have to worry about all of the type and cross match you have with humans because cats lack an antibody which causes a reaction. So any cat healthy enough will do.
              Anyway, I didn’t even get a good chance to think it over before the first cat died.
              But I do think I would do similar if the animal donating the blood was a calmer type who does not get upset over medical procedures.
              And yes, there really are cats that calm.

  8. Please stop with the child and animal abuse stories. Everyone agrees that this conduct is unethical, criminal, and immoral — except for deranged people. And there is no hope in educating them anyway. For the rest of us, it just makes it harder to sleep at night.

    • I know—I feel the same way. But how else do you flush out people like Karen, who inform us that dogs have no objection to being treated like this, and such vets are really wonderful, caring people?

      • Seriously? You are all too gullible. The press has it all wrong. Makes me wonder what other garbage you believe.

        • You are ridiculous and dishonest. Is the dog alive six months after being handed over to be euthanized? Was the dog used as a blood bank? YOU appear to agree to those salient facts, and if those facts are accurate, then the vet is lying, animal abusing scum. It isn’t what I believe, it is what you are willing to tolerate.

          • Do you know Dr. Tierce? I do. If you did you would know there has to be more to this story than what we have heard.

            • He’s been arrested. I’m sure he has some kind of explanation, but you haven’t offered anything plausible that would let him off the hook. If someone gives you a dog to put to sleep, you do it. If you aren’t going to do it, you return the dog. If you aren’t going to return the dog, you get permission from the owners. If you keep the dog, you make sure you place it in a home ASAP. Under no circumstances do you keep the dog, secretly, in a cage, for months, leaching blood from him and charging other owners for the blood.

              Almost every criminal has people who see only his or her good side, and won’t believe what they are capable of. “If you only knew him like I do” is one of history’s saddest sentences.

                • My mind can indeed be changed by well-reasoned arguments and actual facts. It will not be changed by what you have offered, which are feelings, rationalizations and logical fallacies.

              • BTW, I don’t have all the facts either. I am just unwilling to judge him without having more reliable information than provided by the media. You have made your decision based on what very well may be inaccuracies and lies.

          • I was in Austin. They only took blood out of Sid 1 time in order to save the life of another dog. Dog Blood donors or no different than people donors. You don’t die when you donate blood.

            • If it’s my dog, you have no legal right to do anything to him unless I approve it and consent to it, just as if it were my child. Please nod your head if you understand. Because that’s the law, and also right.

        • You are probably right about that, women generally not wanting to be present. Some do it. I did not stay when one of my dogs was euthanized, but I at least asked about her, and the disposition of her body.

          The information about her not paying and not being a good owner comes from people who work at the clinic. It is very sad that she has the dog back.

          They are getting death threats at the clinic. All things considered that is a travesty. In fact, that should never happen.

          What is really getting to me is all those who are believing the media rather than people who know Dr. Tierce. I have it from reliable sources, who work at the clinic, that she did not pay to have the dog euthanized. I have never known anyone as devoted to animals as Lou Tierce. We don’t have his explanation for what he did. but I know his motives were good.

          I do not have faith that the truth will come out and justice be served. Here is why, my jury duty story:
          I was called for the girl who sold ecstasy to a guy and he died. Not the trial, the sentencing. They did not pick me. I said I thought ecstasy should be legal, but even so it was not her fault he took too much and died. I looked it up. They gave her 10 years. Fucked up. It was funny, because there were about 60 of us in the room. I was in the middle of the group. They went around asking if we could hold her responsible for his death and sentence her. Before me, everyone said yes. Then I said how I felt and only 2 out of the rest of the group said yes. And they gave her more than the minimum sentence she would have gotten, just 180 days for selling the drugs, and more 5 year minimum because he died. He took 7 tabs! Whose fault is that??!!! I am so glad I was not part of it though in a way I kind of wish I had kept my mouth shut and been selected. Then it would have been a hung jury. But they made us fill out questionnaires first so I never would have been picked anyway. I had said I was for the legalization of all drugs. Anyway, I have very little faith in our judicial system.
          I personally thought Zimmerman got away with murder, so did OJ, and Casey Anthony. Yet many people are in prison for murders they did not commit and can’t even get DNA tests to prove their innocence. So no, I am not convinced the truth will come out.

          Most people don’t realize there are animals kept at clinics as donors. I am very much an animal lover and activist. I just got back from my volunteering at DAS for the spay clinic, which I do regularly. I am not stupid and am extremely honest. This whole thing has seriously made me wonder what media lies I have believed in the past.

          Yesterday at about 8am a 70 lb door fell on one of my cats. He seemed okay, amazingly, but I still got him to a vet ASAP. Not my regular one who is 1/2 an hour away, someone closer. They checked him out and said he seemed okay, but to watch him for signs of internal bleeding. If there was a problem I’d have to take him to an emergency clinic about 1/2 an hour away, as they were closing at noon. Lou Tierce would have come over. If I still lived-in FW I would still want to use him. I was supposed to work yesterday but chose to go in only a couple of hours rather than leave me cat alone.

          Someone I know posted something that normally makes me angry, but in this case is assuring. She said animal abusers don’t get stiff sentences. He is 80, and his age would also be a consideration. I hope he just retires.

          • Let’s examine this section, which should help us understand why your grasp of the ethics of what the vet did is shaky at best:

            I was called for the girl who sold ecstasy to a guy and he died. Not the trial, the sentencing. They did not pick me. I said I thought ecstasy should be legal, but even so it was not her fault he took too much and died.

            Of course, if you illegally sell someone a dangerous prohibited substance and they die from ingesting it, you are culpable for the death. Whether you think a substance should be legal is irrelevant to the case. It wasn’t legal, and the state has decreed that it is dangerous.

            “He took 7 tabs! Whose fault is that??!!!”
            It’s the fault of the person who gave him the tabs to take, as well as his. But he’s dead.”

            I am so glad I was not part of it though in a way I kind of wish I had kept my mouth shut and been selected. Then it would have been a hung jury.

            So you kind of wish you had lied and violated your juror’s oath. That means you are a renegade citizen, who does not respect the law, as well as ethically clueless. And dangerous. This explains why you are so admiring of a vet who appears to be a crook. How would you be capable of knowing whether he was honest or not? YOU aren’t honest!

            I had said I was for the legalization of all drugs.
            All drugs, eh? A per se irresponsible and unintelligent position.

            Anyway, I have very little faith in our judicial system.
            Since you have no concept of justice, honesty or process, I’m not surprised.

            “I personally thought Zimmerman got away with murder, so did OJ, and Casey Anthony.”
            Zimmerman—an uninformed, completely unsupportable position, based on media hype and nothing more. O.J: undoubtedly. Casey Anthony: impossible to say based on the evidence. None of those cases indict the justice system: in all three, the system worked correctly. Murder was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

            Meanwhile, if animals really are kept at vet clinics as blood donors over long periods of time without their owners’ knowledge, that’s a major scandal and an inhumane practice. You seem to think any practice that is common is automatically right.

      • The woman told the newspapers she paid to have Sid put down but she didn’t pay one single thing. She also told news she did surprise visits which I have never heard of. She didn’t see the dog for. 4 months, so I guess news do lie.

  9. I worked for Dr. Tierce when I was in high school, as my sister did also a few years later. These allegations of “experimentation” are complete B.S., there was never any “experimentation” because this isn’t a research clinic. Organs in jars? EVERY vet clinic just about has at least one dog’s heart in a jar, sliced open to show what it looks like when a dog dies of heartworms!

    I think part of the story here is missing. When I worked there, we had a white shepherd whose owner dropped him off for serious medical treatment (the dog had ruptured its bladder), but couldn’t pay and abandoned the dog. That dog was the office pet! We loved on him and gave him treats and he had the run of the back of the clinic. He was used as a blood donor, but the need for blood donations was uncommon — usually it was something used to save the life of some poor pooch that had been hit by a car. Did Sid’s owners just abandon him for euthanasia because they couldn’t afford treatment? That will come out in time.

    Furthermore, who is Mary Brewer, the former employee? I’d LOVE to hear from the clinic employees and staff what they think of HER. Disgruntled ex-employee starts a shitstorm, is what I think. She *says* she quit, but I wonder if she was fired, and if so, why.

    Dr. Tierce has been taking care of my family’s pets since well before I graduated high school in 1980. Just last week he went to great lengths to save my sister’s beagle, who had gotten into a houseguest’s suitcase and eaten a bottle of Advil. This wasn’t easy — Dr. Tierce rotated the pup through a hyperbaric chamber to get the kidney enough oxygen, and then IV hydration to help flush the stuff out. Most vets would have just put the dog down. Dr. Tierce saved that dog, and hundreds of others. He’s a hero.

        • YOU don’t even have that. You have your feels. I’ll give you that if this turns out to be otherwise than reported, you’ll be vindicated and some people on here will be wearing egg on their face. But much more likely is that you have been deceived. And if that’s true, and it plays out like that, are you willing to apologise to all the people on here that you’ve called out for believing the best facts available at the time?

    • It’ll be interesting to see what the investigation turns up. From what has been initially reported, Jack’s assessment is spot on. I agree there must be more to it however, having heard countless reports from others that Tierce had been, apparently, a consummate professional otherwise.

    • Yes he is. Just a lot of trouble fro a fired convicted felon and a woman who says but can’t back up her statements. I have been a client 40 years and know Dr. Or Mrs. Tierce would never do anything unethical. Feeding frenzy by media will not prove to be true.

      • ??? The dog is alive six months after the vet that had him in his possession promised to destroy him. The family that owns him has paperwork to that effect. The dog was discovered being housed in inhumane conditions, being used for blood transfusions without the dogs’ owner’s consent! That’s not “smoke” or rumor, that describes one or more crimes, and would if the whistleblower were Jack the Ripper. What’s your theory, mass hypnosis?

  10. What I love is this, everyone thinks they know about the owners of SID the dog. I can tell you first hand because I work for these lovely people. Sid was only taken to the QUACK VET because he had a very small ANAL infection, the infection that would take COLD LASER to cure. MRS HARRIS, loves her animals very much. It was NEVER a case of being able to afford for SID to be put to sleep. WHEN your vet tells you, your animal cannot be cured, yes I believe in getting a second opinion, but they TRUSTED in this VET. SINCE this has all came into the open, there have been several more cases against this VET, including the treatment or lack there of to his own dog. So please explain to me HOW he is such a WONDERFUL vet when he let his own dog suffer? Since SID has been back home with his family, he has made such wonderful progress. He is such a loving dog, even with the cruel things that he went through while he was in the care of this VET and the staff at the CAMP BOWIE VET CLINIC.
    IF the police didn’t have evidence against the man, he would never have been arrested and wouldn’t be out on bond right now. The truth will come out, and like I said I work for the owners of SID. I see them every Friday, have for the last 3 years. Even serial killers, have a calm sweet side..

  11. Dr.Lou Tierce 111 was my vet for over thirty years. I lived in the country about 25 miles away. He never knew, if you ask, what the cost would be. He was not money hungry. He treated and saved several dogs and 2 cat that I gave up on. Putting a animal down was very hard for him to do. I have been in a exam room when he would get calls from out of state vets asking him what to do. He is a Orthopedic specialists. He is the most intelligent person I know when it comes to his profession. The media has already tired and feathered him. So very sad for them when the truth comes out.
    Carol Wiley

    • So:

      1) not money hungry
      2) empathetic
      3) collaborative
      4) intelligent

      Also:
      5) violated an agreement
      6) abused a dog

      Not all bad people are all bad and not all good people are all good, what you and all the other Tierce defenders are doing is using ethical accounting:

      Oh, well, he was more good than bad, so we can either look past this bad, call this bad “not bad”, or insist that those reporting on this are lying.

      • Since I last wrote, I have heard that the “whistleblower”, Mary Brewer, had been fired, and on her way out of the clinic told Dr. Tierce either “I’m gonna get you for this” or “I’m gonna fuck you up” (depending on which person is recounting the event).

        I wonder if she knew Jamie and Marian Harris, Sid’s owners, from somewhere other than the clinic. If so, she may have gotten them to go along with her little plan for revenge by pointing out how much money they could rake in. The Harris’ story about taking their dog in for an ANAL GLAND problem, then leaving it at the clinic for months with no visits, that story smells worse than anal glands for sure.

        Yes, obviously there were some problems, but clearly self-admitted convicted criminal Mary Brewer hatched a plan for revenge, not out of empathy for any of the animals. She didn’t call sooner, she’d worked there months. She didn’t call any other animal owners. Why? She was only out for revenge.

        • Ok? So the whistle blower’s criminal past and the whistleblower’s delay in reporting and the whistleblower’s bad motives somehow make Tierce’s behavior ethical?

          If Boss X makes it a practice to only hire women who have intercourse with him during the interview process, and employee Y decides after 6 years to get revenge on Boss X because Y didn’t get a promotion (oh and employee Y is also a former criminal), would that then make Boss X’s behavior ok?

          It would by your logic.

          • Yay for you, cropping out the next sentence, which begins with “Yes, obviously there were some problems”. I’m saying that before crucifying this very skilled and admirable man in the media, we should allow the wheels of justice to grind a bit. Today, the Harris’ turned in a lawsuit for one million dollars, a ridiculous amount for a dog, no matter how beloved. I think this is a strong indication that they’re in this for the money.

            The Harris’ story of an anal gland problem stretching into weeks and weeks during which they never visited their dog? That’s got something very wrong with it.

            Obviously, from the initial reports by professionals who raided the clinic, there are some serious problems that need to be addressed. But there’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye, and revenge and greed are just a part of it that hasn’t been focused on by the news media… yet.

            • I “clipped” the “obviously there were some problems” because it seemed moot. By your own admission those “problems” were present, somewhat negating your attempts to lessen the unethical nature of those problems by talking about the problems of the whistleblower.

              This reply of yours adds nothing but more speculation.

            • You do not get it. I don’t care about the Harrises—yes, they sound like lousy dog owners to me. Who leaves a beloved pet alone to be put down? I don’t care about the whistleblower–I’m perfectly willing to believe that the woman’s motives were far from pure. But they aren’t professionals, or vets, and are not trusted with the animals of others.

              The post is about an untrustworthy, dishonest, abusive veterinarian, and if the Harrises were cannibals, and the Mary Brewer were a serial killer who murdered children with lawn mowers, it still wouldn’t make a vet who kept someone else’s dog without permission after letting them believe it had been killed, kept their money, and used the dog as a blood bank at his own profit for six months an “admirable man” or anything but a fraudulent, animal abusing vet.

              What is the matter with you? If someone’s child is crippled in a car accident and the parents sue for millions, does that mean they are “in it for the money”? If someone tortured my dog, I’d seek punitive damages from the vet to whatever extent possible. “a ridiculous amount for a dog, no matter how beloved” shows where your bias lies. Tell me, would you accept a million dollars for your dog, knowing he’d be locked in a cage and bled dry? I wouldn’t.

              I’d learn something about ethics before commenting on an ethics blog, if I were you.

        • Why was the wonderful Dr. employing such a horrible, untrustworthy employee? Conspitacies and criminal enterprises are fequently busted by former participants—an apprehended felon is not make less wrong by the character of the one who finally trips him up. All you are giving me is hearsay (what you “heard” about what someone said isn’t evidence) and speculation, some of it wildly conjectural: “clearly self-admitted convicted criminal Mary Brewer hatched a plan for revenge, not out of empathy for any of the animals.” You don’t know any of this. And if something was wrong for months sufficiently for you to impugn her for waiting that long (as I already did in the original post), you have just agreed that something was wrong enough to report to the police. Yeah, “there were problems,” all right.

          You’re ridiculous.

          • Why would any small business do criminal background checks on employees who are not handling money? Apply for a job as a cashier, yes, they’ll do a background check. Apply for a job scooping poop, not so much.

            I’d love to cite my sources, but have been asked not to mention their names for now. My family has been taking our pets to Dr. Tierce since the 1970s, and I and my sister worked for the man at separate times. I think I have enough data about the inner workings of the clinic and Dr. Tierce’s behavior to make an informed statement that he is not the psycho “vampire vet” the the media are trying to make him out to be. They’re chasing ratings.

            I’m awaiting the vet board’s conclusions, and I’ll be fascinated to see what develops regarding the disgruntled ex-employee and the Harris story.

      • He has never ever abused an animal. Why don’t you read testimonials of people that have gone to him for yrs and yrs.

        • Uh, you can’t say that, you know. He has never abused a human being is a better bet. They talk and file charges. I’d love to talk to Sid. If a giant breed was kept in a business establishment and had to spend nights alone in a pen, he was abused.

          • If you did talk to Sid he would tell you that the “wonderful” Mrs.Harris decided to have him euthanized because she “had a wedding to plan and he is just to big and troublesome to handle right now”. But you media types don’t care about that do you. No you can say whatever you want and claim that you were “absent malice” so no harm done. Every person in every profession has people that simply don’t care for their work. I’m sure you have plenty so I know that you know what I am talking about.

        • Testimonies of years and years don’t negate the condition that these two dogs were found in. Let’s deal in the reality of the moment (one dog kept in filth and bled and one dog with missing/broken appendages) and not warm fuzzies from way back when…

  12. This whole case has been interesting and horrifying to watch unfold. I’ve been following the story since it first came out, and while it does not look good for Dr. Tierce at this point, I can’t really make a full decision without hearing both sides of the story.

    I know several people who have been using Dr. Tierce for years, and highly recommended him to us when our newly adopted kitten was sick. We went with Banfield in the end, but their glowing recommendations stuck in my mind.

    I also know several people who know the Harris family. Both groups of people swear up and down that neither party could possibly be lying. But the simple fact of the matter, is that someone has to be lying. It’s just a matter of who. Either the Harris’s are lying, and did not want to pay for the dog’s treatment and essentially abandoned him, or Tierce is lying, and is guilty of animal abuse.

    At this point, after weighing the information from both sides, I still can’t decide who I believe more. Clearly Sid is still alive. However, I have heard(I know, I know, it’s hearsay, but what isn’t at this point?) that the Harris’s dropped Sid off to be euthanized and either did not have the money, or did not want to pay for him to be euthanized. IF that is true, then Dr. Tierce had every right to consider Sid abandoned, and treat him on his own dime if he so chose.

    Sid was at least partially cured, as he went from “dragging his hindquarters” and being barely able to walk, to being able to jump in the back of his owner’s car when they came to get him. We have seen absolutely no evidence of the “abusive kenneling” etc. I’m not saying that there isn’t any, just that none has been produced, other than the family’s attorney saying that “another vet found signs of abusive kenneling and stress induced mange” etc. Hearsay. It’s possible that evidence will be produced during the trial. Without physical proof of said evidence, or a testimony from the other vet, these “signs of abuse” are nothing more than hearsay and gossip.

    I find it a little bit strange as some one else mentioned, that the Harris’s left their dog at the clinic for so long without visiting. Again, hearsay, though still interesting to note.

    Also interesting is that NO ONE came forward except for a disgruntled former employee who is also an ex-con, and who threatened to make Tierce pay after she quit. I find it very hard to believe that not a single employee would come forward if the situation was as terrible as it’s being made out to be. However this is all pure speculation.

    The clinic is supposedly filthy, though I have heard from several employees and former employees, that while the rooms may have been cluttered and dirty, strict sanitizing protocols were followed for sterilizing surgical equipment and cleaning before and after surgeries and procedures. A filthy clinic, while gross, does not necessarily equal animal cruelty. It is also something that he can rectify.

    The one thing that I am hung up on, is the border collie. Tierce claims that the dog was his, and it was the border collie’s treatment (or lack thereof) for which Dr. Tierce turned himself in. Again, only hearsay evidence at this point, but if the animal was in as poor condition as was reported, I agree that he should be charged for animal cruelty for that particular case.

    I’m rattling on for too long lol, and should wrap this up, but I would just like to caution people that until the full story comes out, we do not have enough solid information to make an informed decision. All “evidence” that has been produced so far has been hearsay, with the exception of the fact that Sid is still alive. And even that is not enough to prove animal cruelty. Sid’s being alive could just be because Dr. Tierce decided to treat him on his own dime, rather than euthanizing an animal just because the owners did not want to or were not able to pay the cost of treatment and/or euthanization.

    tl;dr: Until we have the full story from an unbiased source, don’t crucify the man based on nothing more than hearsay and gossip.

    • To clarify: I’m not condoning his actions in keeping Sid alive and not notifying the family. That was clearly an unethical decision. I’m merely stating that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

      • The dog is alive, the family wasn’t told, and the vet was using the dog for profit-making transfusions. There doesn’t need to be any “other side.” That’s plenty. “He was nice to my kittens” isn’t relevant in any way.

        • I never said he was “nice to my kittens”. I personally have not met him. I only mentioned my cat to bring attention to the fact that many people recommended him. There is no physical proof that he used the dog for profit making transfusions. He admitted in his hearing today that he used the dog for a transfusion once in an emergency situation. If Sid was considered a clinic “pet” it’s fairly common to use their blood in emergency situations. All we have at this point is an attorney who claims that a vet told him that the dog was in bad shape, and had been used for multiple transfusions. Who is the vet in question? Why has he not come forward to verify anything?

          I refuse to vilify a man when there is zero physical proof that any animal abuse occurred in regards to Sid. If proof comes to light, then damn straight I hope Tierce gets what’s coming to him.

          • Zero proof? The dog was kept from its rightful owner. That’s already abuse. It wasn’t his dog to take blood from. Not once, not at all. And a giant breed does not belong in a cage, in an office. Also cruelty.

            • If the owners left him without paying for the euthanization and just told the vet to “take care of it” as is being said, then they relinquished their right to the dog. Until I see a paper trail stating otherwise there is NO PROOF that the dog was abusively kenneled beyond what a supposed vet told someone else.

              It’s a pity. I was hoping that you would be a logical, rational human being and was looking forward to rational discourse, but you’ve clearly already made a decision based off of hearsay and speculation.

              I just won’t bother engaging anymore. People have clearly already found him guilty based on heavily biased media hype. We’ll see what happens at the trial.

              At this point, the only thing he is clearly guilty of, is saving a dog’s life after the owners abandoned it. The rest (animal abuse etc) is strictly hearsay and speculation, and will be addressed in court.

              • There’s this inconvenient little thing known a property law. Abandonment is a term of law, and the terms of abandonment were not met. What appears to have been met are the terms of fraud. If I leave a dog with a vet on the assumption and agreement that he will be put down (on the recommendation of the vet) and the vet keeps him, alive, that is theft. Your argument makes no more sense, and is no more grounded in law and ethics, than the vet’s other desperate and fact challenged defenders here, and maybe less.

  13. I have been a Veterinary technician for 26 years. I live and breath my job so I have a different perspective. First it is illegal to take a pet that an owner has signed euthanasia forms for believe me there have been many over the years I have wanted to save and unless and owner signs a surrender form that pet is not yours to decide what you want regardless of whether you are a vet or not. Second I have seen several people say that yeah the clinic was dirty and cluttered but the surgical equipment and surgical area were clean and all vets have animal organs hanging around. Well I say no way. It is impossible to have a sterile surgical unit if the rest of the clinic is dirty. There is absolutely no reason for a clinic to be dirty none what so ever. A animal clinic should be as clean as a human hospital and if it is not there is a problem. If you walk in and smell animals the place is dirty and the dr’s and staff are lazy.We do not nor do any of the clinics I have ever worked for have organs everywhere. No we do not have a heart either we have a model of one. The fact that they have excused a dirty clinic tells me the substandard of care that his clients were used to, they know no better which is why they are supporting him. Would they take their children to a dirty dr’s office. Third,why are none of his supporters discussing the actual charges brought against him? He was charged for cruelty to his own dog. How can someone claim to care about his clients pets yet allow his own dog to suffer with broken bones, a missing foot etc. This is so sad and make me ashamed that people like this are a part of a profession that I love so much. Finally I wish his technicians had been charged as well and their license taken if they have one. We are supposed to care for animals who are sick and broken especially at the hands of others yet they did nothing to help these animals who were suffering, by doing nothing they neglected their duties and their oaths just as he did. There is never an excuse for dirty clinics where animals are mistreated. I hope the animals he hurt get justice in the way that he will never be able to practice or even own an animal again. He should have retired years ago.

  14. Sorry…I also wanted to add that the vet himself did not say he did not euthanize the animals because he wanted to save them. He said he did not do it because did not have the time to euthanize and bury them. Well, if the owner was not there then the actual procedure can be done in less then a minute, maybe 3 if you place a catheter. So in all those months he could not find less than 5 minutes? He also said his freezer was full. If that is the case, he is either losing a lot of patients or he has not paid his crematory bill so the animals could be picked up and properly disposed of.

    So for all of his supporters who say he savvvvved them… hmmm, wonder why he did not use that defense? Think people, think. Common sense is not so common, is it?

    • Dr. Tierce freezes euthanized animals in the lab refrigerator, so basically the space of your usual home refrigerator. When he goes to the ranch, he takes them and buries them there. A very large animal wouldn’t even begin to fit in this freezer. He has been burying pets at his ranch for years.

      • Exactly how does this excuse the fact that he could not find time in 4-5 months to do this? Does he go home everyday? Just because someone has been doing something for years, does that make it right? Why would a vet not have a larger freezer that would hold more then a small dog or a cat does he not have larger dogs that pass away? This is another red flag for me .Exactly what did he charge for disposal? Is this legal by Texas laws? So he was allowed to take home pets for burial if that is the case how was this monitored to be sure this is actually what was happening? NO EXCUSE. There is just so many things wrong here that maybe only a member of the veterinary field would see.

  15. I have been a Vet Tech for over 30+ years and dedicated my work to improving the lives of animals. After reading about the abuse in this clinic and it had been covered up, it makes me sick. This Man, if you can even call him that,with his unethical abuse of animals and ruining families lives by telling them their Pets had been euthnanized. I wonder how he would feel being put in a cage in poor conditions as he did to the animals. He even abused his own dog. This man does not deserve to be anywhere near animals let alone to have his license reinstated. Anyone who knew of this abuse should be held accountable just as Dr Tierce should be held responsible. This is the link from the Board of Veterinary Medicine not the press: http://www.scribd.com/…/Dr-Tierce-Order-of-Temporary…

    • Thanks, Joan. And yet several people, even reading all this, insist that such a loving, kind vet could never do these things, so it all must be a conspiracy. There are many disturbing lessons in this.

      • I have worked for Animal Care and Control as well in Private Clinics over the last 30+ years and never I can only equate such atrocities to those those of the Interment Camps during the Holocaust. Using a regular Refrigerator to house euthanized animals, that goes against OSHA codes. A Vet clinic has a separate Chest freezer to store the animals. The housing of an animal left in feces and urine is no better than a Hoarder. The fact that this so called caring Veterinarian can lie about the health conditions to an owner, tell them their animal is terminal, and then turn around and not euthanize the animal and keep it as a money maker using it for a blood donor, is the icing on the cake. This person needs to be stopped once and for all and he and his staff who are accomplices need to face the charges.

        • The lab refrigerator holds lab stuff only. The freezer part holds frozen bodies waiting for burial. This is normal practice in all sorts of places, including medical school research departments. The ACTUAL rule is that items for human consumption are not allowed in such refrigerators. Sheesh!

          • Christine ,Funny you can comment on this yet you have no explanation for why a vet has a freezer that will not hold anything larger then a small dog. I am really baffled here. What happens to other animals that are to large to go in the freezer? Are they euthanized or are they stored at the ranch in possibly deplorable conditions. You can not compare a research facility with a companion animal hospital. Opps maybe you can if you worked for this vet hmmm. In 26 years I have NEVER seen a vet clinic that does not have a large freezer. Again please tell me what happens to the large dogs or have there been more like SID?

            • You have actually really intrigued me. I think I will be looking in to this ranch and what is actually happening to these larger animals. My gut tells me there is something here too.

          • I am sorry, I do not are in the refrigerator part was for Humans and the Freezer was for small euthanized animals, that is still a violation of OSHA practices. Maybe OSHA should also look into the working conditions of a dirty clinic where it is not being properly monitored by the Veterinarian in charge. You cannot defend the lies that have been told and it is not the press, it is the Veterinary Board Report that I have read. That said it all.

      • hopefully this link will work.

  16. The defenders are all sounding alike at this point. Just because he was a good and caring vet 20 years ago does not guarantee something hasn’t changed. Something has, as mange and lack of treatment for the original condition means some tasks were NOT being done, whether the dog was abandoned or the clinic pet. The crisses should only defend their memories as evidence of both Sid and Tierce’s dog say that era in their memory is over.

    There may be reasons why he was unable to properly care for, supervise, or plan the burials of pets, but he should NOT have clung to the 1970s until it fell apart like this and harmed the dogs and their beloved owners. He should have gotten partners and/or retired if he can’t keep up. His clients, human and pet, depended on his judgement and caring. Trusting a vet or doctor should not be a lottery where lucky winners defend against the outrage of the ones who weren’t lucky enough to get proper care.

    My thoughts are with how many other owners of the last few years, now will be forced to wonder if their pet had been treated like Sid. And we as a society lose a little more trust because of jerks like this.

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