FORT WORTH (CN) - A Texas veterinarian kept a woman's dog alive for months to harvest blood from it while telling her the animal had been euthanized, according to a grand jury indictment.
Millard Tierce, 71, of Fort Worth, was indicted Wednesday on one count of felony theft; one count of felony misapplication of fiduciary property; and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.
Allegations from two previous lawsuits made international headlines, in some of which Tierce was referred to as the "vampire vet."
If convicted, Tierce faces up to two years in state prison on the first two counts and up to a year in county jail on the third count.
Tierce was investigated and arrested in April after client Marian Harris complained to the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
Harris claimed that Tierce recommended her dog, Sid, be euthanized in October 2013 due to a congenital spinal defect.
According to her lawsuit against Tierce in Tarrant County Court, a former employee of Tierce's told her six months later that Tierce kept Sid alive, confined him in a cage "almost 24 hours a day in unsanitary conditions and was being used for blood extraction."
"When the Harrises were loading Sid into their car and attempting to leave the clinic, Dr. Tierce came out to the parking lot and attempted to justify/rationalize/explain why he had kept Sid alive," Harris' complaint stated. "In doing so, Dr. Tierce definitely admitted that he had intentionally kept Sid alive, despite having represented to the Harrises (six months earlier) that he would euthanize Sid."
Harris claimed a veterinarian and neurologist determined that Sid was "abusively kenneled, had stressed-induced mange, had significant atrophy in his leg muscles" and "definitely had no congenital spine defect."
In June, a second lawsuit against Tierce was filed by Kimberly Davis, according to the Courthouse News Service database. Davis said her 12-year-old Chihuahua, Hercules, was supposed to have been euthanized, but was kept alive for mistreatment and for "experiments." She claimed the dog was later found "lying in a small cage, unresponsive, his eyes were rolled back in his head, and he was covered with feces and urine."
Tierce agreed to a 5-year suspension of his license by state board on Oct. 1. He is allowed to continue owning the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic in Fort Worth while other licensed veterinarians care for patients.
Tierce is free on $10,000 bond while awaiting trial. A trial date has not been set.
District Attorney spokeswoman Melody McDonald declined to comment on the indictment because it is a pending case.
Tierce could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
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