I was completely shocked upon learning what a Texas veterinarian, named “Vet of the Year” no less, has allegedly done to an innocent animal!
Dr. Kristen Lindsey, DVM, became the center of a social media firestorm after bragging about killing a cat with a bow and arrow. She has since lost her job.
Read the latest updates to this story at the bottom of this article.
Warning: graphic image (showing a dead animal) below may be disturbing to some viewers.
Lindsey posted a graphic picture on her Facebook page (since removed) of her holding an arrow that is sticking through the head of a dead cat on April 15, 2015. The post read “My first bow kill, lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s head! Vet of the year award … Gladly accepted.”
Reaction to her post was swift and overwhelmingly angry. In the comment section of her post, Lindsey responded to commenters and wrote “no I did not lose my job. Lol. Psshh. Like someone would get rid of me. I’m awesome!”
However, shortly after the photo went viral, the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham where she worked, fired her. The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) also condemned the young vet’s actions, stating they directly violate the veterinarian’s oath and the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has opened an investigation into Lindsey’s actions. Meanwhile, animal advocates have started an online petition calling for her veterinarian license to be revoked.
An animal rescue group also determined that the cat was not feral at all, but in fact, an elderly couple’s cat called Tiger. Tiger had gone missing earlier in the day, before he was killed. However, despite this claim investigators for the Austin County District Attorney’s Office later said they were never able to positively confirm the identity of the cat seen in the photograph.
“Although one witness believes the cat to be a pet named Tiger, three different area residents had fed similar looking cats at one time or another that had no collar and had strayed,” a release from the District Attorney’s office stated.
News reports also revealed that Lindsey’s parents apparently saw her kill the cat and it was her mother that took the photo.
Animal lovers flooded authorities with calls and the Austin County Sheriff’s Office soon opened their own investigation. Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes told KBTX News that he had seen the photo and was disturbed by the situation.
“This kind of stuff shouldn’t happen in our society,” Brandes said. “It’s a very sad thing. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of it and get the truth, 100% truth, and get it to the DA and put it in his hands if it needs to go any further.”
The Austin County Sheriff’s Office completed their investigation within a few days and turned over the case to the District Attorney recommending a filing of charges of cruelty to animals. However, the Austin County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against Lindsey after determining there was insufficient proof to charge Lindsey with a crime, in part because they could not determine the identity of the cat.
News Update: Oct 18, 2016
A state panel suspended the license of Lindsey on Tuesday October 18, 2016. The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in Austin have determined that Lindsey can’t practice for a year because she was cruel to an animal. Her suspension will be followed by four years’ probation and other requirements. The decision comes after a long investigation and internal review, which Lindsey challenged.
Lindsey’s lawyer argued that his client had received enough punishment and that the suspension would cause financial hardship for her due to student debts. As indicated, Lindsey was fired from the animal clinic where she worked and she had received death and rape threats in the fallout from her actions.
After the ruling, the Animal Defense Fund said that it was disappointed by what they saw as a light punishment.
What a sad and disturbing case. However, if there is any glimmer of good news it is that so many people were disturbed by the act of animal cruelty.