Fort Worth

Animal cruelty charge against longtime Fort Worth veterinarian dismissed

Fort Worth veterinarian Dr. Lou Tierce testifies in front of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in Austin in 2014.
Fort Worth veterinarian Dr. Lou Tierce testifies in front of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in Austin in 2014. Star-Telegram archives

An animal cruelty charge has been dismissed against a Fort Worth veterinarian accused of keeping dogs alive after telling their owners he would euthanize the pets.

Millard “Lou” Tierce III, 72, was indicted on a Class A misdemeanor in July 2015.

The charge was dismissed Nov. 29 at prosecutorial discretion, according to court records. Tierce had also faced two theft charges in the case that had been dismissed.

He was initially charged in 2014 after the state veterinary board suspended his license for five years because of complaints that he failed to euthanize pets after saying he would.

His criminal case was dismissed after he agreed to have his state license suspended for an extra year, Sam Jordan, spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, said in a statement.

“The agreement that was entered in this case was made to ensure that Tierce would be prohibited from returning to veterinary practice,” Jordan said

Should he try to have his license reinstated, Tierce would be required to pass a psychological evaluation first, Jordan said.

Tierce’s attorney, Bob Gill, said Thursday, “We reached a mutually acceptable agreement, and we feel that justice has been served.”

In one complaint against Tierce, Marian Harris of Aledo said she learned from a former employee at Tierce’s clinic that Sid, her 5-year-old Leonberger, was still alive — after she was told that the dog had been euthanized because of a congenital spinal defect.

Fort Worth police and state investigators raided Tierce’s Camp Bowie Animal Clinic in west Fort Worth. They found animals living in filth and trash, as well as insects throughout the clinic.

Tierce surrendered to police the next day on an animal cruelty charge.

Many of Tierce’s supporters came to his defense after his arrest, circulating a petition in his behalf and describing the fine care he had given their pets.

At a hearing before a three-person state veterinary board committee in May, Tierce acknowledged that Sid had been used for one blood transfusion. He said he did not carry out the family’s wishes to euthanize the dog because he treats animals like family.

Sid was a “sweet dog,” Tierce told the committee, and “actually got better. I did not euthanize him.”

The 2015 indictment alleged that Tierce kept two other dogs, Hercules and Trixie, in an “unhealthy environment” at the clinic, which included “excessive animal remains.”

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.