Texas Veterinarian Allegedly Fakes Dog's Death to Use Him for Blood Transfusions

In a story that sounds like it is out of a movie script, a family is reunited with their dog they thought was peacefully laid to rest.

By | Posted: April 30, 2014, 5 p.m. PST

Remember the movie Beethoven? The one where the vet pretends to get bitten by the Saint Bernard in order to fake his death and use him for medical testing? According to allegations by a Texas family, life appears to be imitating art in the worst way.

Fort Worth veterinary clinic, Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, is under investigation after the Harris family accused their veterinarian of secretly keeping their dog alive and using him for blood transfusions and medical testing.

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Jamie and Marian Harris say they took their 5-year-old Leonberger, Sid, to the clinic to be treated for a minor anal gland issue. According to court documents, the family claims Sid had trouble walking after the procedure and they were informed that Sid had a spine condition that would grow increasingly worse; the best option for him was to be euthanized. The family said their goodbyes with the belief that Sid would be laid to rest on the veterinarian's farm.

Leonberger Sid, photo from WFAA

According to NBC Fort Worth, the Harris family received an unexpected call from Mary Brewer, a veterinarian technician at Camp Bowie, who told them Sid was alive and being used for blood transfusions. According to Brewer, Sid was being kept in a cage in unhealthy conditions.

Now back home with his family, Sid is under new veterinary care. According the family's lawyer, doctors have diagnosed Sid with mange and support the idea that he was "abusively kenneled" and used for blood transfusions.

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"It was like getting punched in the stomach and then some," Marian Harris told NBC Fort Worth. "This has rocked our world. My kids are like, 'How does somebody do this?' How does this happen?"

State and local authorities seized several animals from the clinic today as evidence in this unique investigation. 

An investigator from the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners were scheduled to meet with Fort Worth police and the Tarrant County district attorney Wednesday morning to determine whether any criminal animal abuse charges will be filed. No information has been released yet. We will continue to update this story as it progresses.

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Lisa   Milwaukee, Wisconsin

6/5/2014 11:09:21 AM

This vet is evil and doesn't care about these dogs. He is a monster abusing Sid. It is animal cruelty and those clients are in great denial. This is the thing Animal Cruelty is often hidden behind their lives, they lie and say strang theings - if anybody even suspects ANIMAL CRUELTY call 9-1-1 and save these animals lives.

I reported a so called breeder of cats, she simply blamed the cats when they had fleas, mites, open secondary infections, breed them outdoors and with their siblings! Newborn kittens laying in their mother's diarea and parasites. She allowed a kitten to fall in the heat vent and joled about it. I call 9-1-1, police raided her house, taking 9 cats and a puppy hidden in the stairwell.

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Linda   Magnolia, Texas

5/1/2014 6:31:29 AM

What an idiot! Most vets I know use their own or staff pets (with their permission) and/or have a list of clients willing and able to bring in their healthy animals to provide blood for transfusions. It's not rocket science and people are usually very willing to help. Let's hope there's one less licensed vet in Texas very very soon.

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