In April 2015, Texas-based veterinarian Kristen Lindsey shocked and horrified pet parents and animal lovers everywhere when she posted a photo on Facebook of herself holding a dead cat that she killed with a bow and arrow.
In the disturbing post that accompanied the photo, Lindsey wrote, "My first bow kill lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through its head! Vet of the year award… gladly accepted."
Lindsey wasn't named vet of the year, rather, according to People, she was fired by her employers at Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham, Texas. (petMD reached out to Washington Animal Clinic, who declined to give a statement regarding the matter.)
Two months after the case came to light, a grand jury in the state capital ruled that no criminal charges would be filed against Lindsey because there was "insufficient proof," according to People. But a complaint to the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners led to an investigation and hearing regarding Lindsey's ability to practice veterinary medicine in the state.
On Tuesday, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners ruled that Lindsey would be suspended from practicing medicine for a year and would be on four years of probation following the year-long suspension. She was also ordered to conduct 100 hours of community service and take part in animal welfare training.
The ruling has upset many animal activists—and welfare organizations like the Animal Legal Defense Fund—who want justice for the feline. In Lindsey's original Facebook post, the veterinarian justified the killing of the cat because she believed it to be feral. But feral cat advocates stress the importance of respecting and taking care of community cats. "These cats are absolutely not a danger,” Audrey Stratton, clinic supervisor at San Diego’s Feral Cat Coalition, tells petMD's sister site PawCulture. According to DallasNews.com, the feline killed by Lindsey was allegedly not a feral cat at all. The newspaper reports that the cat was named Tiger and belonged to a neighbor.
A statement on the ALDF website reads, "The Animal Legal Defense Fund is deeply disappointed by the Veterinary Board’s decision to only temporarily suspend Kristen Lindsey’s veterinary license. This slap on the wrist pales in comparison to the egregious felony cruelty that Ms. Lindsey committed against a defenseless cat. Allowing Ms. Lindsey to continue to practice veterinary medicine in the future puts animals in the community at great risk, and taints the good name of the trusted veterinary profession."
The ALDF tells petMD that "our attorneys are looking into additional legal options" against Lindsey.
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