Supporters to defend Fort Worth vet at license hearing

05/02/2014 7:11 PM

05/02/2014 11:08 PM

Talia Lydick has been taking dogs to Lou Tierce for 30 years and has nothing but praise for the embattled veterinarian.

One dog was paralyzed, but after being treated by Tierce, “she was completely healed,” Lydick said.

Lydick said she has signed a petition in support of Tierce, who was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of animal cruelty. And she plans to travel to Austin next week for a hearing before a state board to determine whether Tierce’s suspended license should be reinstated.

“I talk about him and recommend him to people all of the time,” said Lydick, who has taken both rescued dogs and personal pets to Tierce for treatment. “He’d never let a dog suffer. I mean never.”

Tierce’s license, issued in 1966, was suspended Wednesday. The hearing is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Friday before the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in Austin.

Investigation, complaints

On Tuesday, investigators with the state agency and Fort Worth police raided Tierce’s Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, 5709 Lovell Ave.

Three dogs were in “such decrepit shape” that they had to be euthanized, their reports stated. Two of those, Tierce admitted to investigators, had been left at his clinic to be euthanized.

Investigators also found unsanitary and “deplorable” conditions, including animal organs stored in jars, as well as exam rooms littered with trash, laundry, bugs and paperwork, according to legal documents.

The investigation of Tierce’s clinic started after complaints were filed with the state and Fort Worth police that he had kept alive a family’s dog, which was supposed to have been euthanized, for use in blood transfusions.

Tierce, 71, turned himself in on an animal cruelty warrant Wednesday evening at the Tarrant County Jail and was released after posting $10,000 bail, officials said.

On Friday, Laura McDaniel of Fort Worth said she has filed a complaint against Tierce with the state board. The Star-Telegram previously reported on three complaints. The total number filed could not be confirmed with the Austin board Friday evening.

In an interview, McDaniel said she took her dog to the clinic because it was vomiting. Tierce wanted to keep the dog for a longer stay, and when McDaniel went back to visit her dog, it couldn’t walk.

“I can’t believe how much she had deteriorated,” McDaniel said.

Reluctantly, McDaniel said, she decided to have her dog euthanized. Now she wonders whether it’s still alive.

McDaniel’s is at least the fourth complaint filed with the state.

‘The go-to guy’

A Star-Telegram reporter visited Tierce’s clinic Friday afternoon to ask about the petition. A woman at the front desk declined to discuss it. She said the clinic does not want any media attention.

Later, in a phone interview, Gordon Potts, a Burleson horse trainer, said he went to the clinic Friday to sign the petition and show solidarity with Tierce.

Potts, who operates The Brass Ring Ranch, said he has taken dogs to Tierce since 1990.

“I take in a lot of stray dogs,” Potts said. “I can call that clinic up at 2 a.m. with a dog that has been injured or sick, and he is always right there.

“I’ve heard people say he’s grumpy and whatnot, but I can tell you that, with me, he has been very professional. He’s the go-to guy.”

Potts said that when he signed the petition, it was about five pages long, with “numerous signatures and testimonials.”

“I feel strongly about this, and I’m not the only one,” Potts said. “We want to do whatever we can to help Dr. Tierce because he has helped all of us.

“He is not a villain. He cares more deeply about these animals — more than most people do, including people in his profession.”

Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.

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