AUSTIN — A committee in Austin has decided to keep the license of a Fort Worth vet suspended despite his pleas to have it reinstated.
The next hearing regarding his license will be held within the next 60 days.
A crowd of supports stood up and locked hands as Dr. Lou Tierce pleaded with a committee Friday in Austin to have his license to practice reinstated after it was temporarily revoked due to animal cruelty accusations.
Before the committee members, the vet confessed to a "hoarding" problem and using the blood of a dog that was supposed to be euthanized for donation.
However, such revelations didn't stop the crowd of supporters from standing behind the vet.
Tierce said without being a vet, "I am nothing." As he addressed the room, sounds of crying were audible.
Before the committee's decision, the vet promised members he could change his practices at the Camp Bowie Animal clinic and said he now knows lying to the animals' owners wasn't OK.
He also admitted to keeping animal tissues too long in jars inside the clinic and having an ant problem. He told members he has hoarder tendencies as a result of growing up with parents from the Depression era.
The vet told committee members he thought of the animals as family, making it hard for him to put them down. However, committee members questioned his statement, noting allegations he kept the animals alive for experimentation.
Tierce was charged with animal cruelty after a complaint was made to authorities accusing the vet of keeping Sid, a dog, alive despite telling his owners he was euthanized. The order to suspend Tierce's license came from the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and alleged the clinic was "unsanitary." It also alleged the vet kept four other dogs alive despite telling their owners the pets would be put down due to illnesses. Tierce made a handwritten statement that confessed he didn't euthanize the animals.
According to a complaint filed by Marian and James Harris in April, Mary Brewer, a former veterinary tech at the Camp Bowie Animal clinic, told the couple their animal was being kept alive and housed in a cage nearly 24 hours day "while being experimented on."
The couple said they had originally made the decision to put Sid down in October of 2013, when Tierce told them he had a congenital spine condition. According to the Harrises, the vet told them his condition would be painful, which is why they made the hard choice.
Friday, he admitted to using Sid for blood donations. He told the committee he hadn't euthanized Sid because the dog was too large for the clinic's freezer and needed to be buried at his ranch, which he said he couldn't find the time to do in the six months the animal was at the clinic.
Three of the other dogs were euthanized when authorities arrived to inspect the clinic and found them in "decrepit shape."
Tierce also told the committee the owner of a cat who was supposed to be euthanized was happy to hear the animal was still alive.