By Dr. Andrew Jones
This story was all over the internet last week, and many people have asked me about it.
Hard to believe, and very disturbing.
I personally have very strong issues with all of it.
This is what happened:
A veterinarian in Texas, Kristen Lindsey, posted a photo of herself holding a cat that had been shot with an arrow.
The picture has caused a huge public outcry, and authorities are still looking into the incident.
The caption on the woman’s Facebook post, which has since been taken down, 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.”
Currently many think that the cat had belonged to a neighbor and went missing, he was called Tiger.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 44,000 people have joined a Facebook group: Justice for Cat Murdered By Kristen Lindsey..https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforTiger?fref=ts
As public pressure intensified, both Lindsey’s employer and police in Austin County have since chosen to take action.
Washington Animal Clinic Fires Her
On Friday, it was announced that Lindsey had been fired as an associate veterinarian at the Washington Animal Clinic after two years of employment.
The clinic has covered Lindsey’s name with duct tape on an outdoor sign listing its veterinarians, and posted the following message on its website:
“We are absolutely appalled, shocked, upset, and disgusted by the conduct. We do not allow such conduct and we condemn it in the strongest possible manner… Please know that when informed of this we responded swiftly and appropriately and please do not impute this awful conduct to the Washington Animal Clinic or any of its personnel.”
The Austin County Sheriff’s office has investigated the incident, and now referred it to Austin County District Attorney Travis J. Koehn.
In a news release Koehn said that his “office will carefully review this matter, as we do with all investigations forwarded by law enforcement”
Alley Cat Allies, is currently offering a $7500.00 award
A cat advocacy group, Alley Cat Allies, is currently offering a $7500.00 award which aims to assist the investigation by encouraging local residents to provide additional evidence, specifically physical evidence or firsthand accounts of the incident.
This is what is posted on their website at http://news.alleycat.org/2015/04/20/working-toward-justice-for-cat-killed-in-austin-county-texas/
The Austin County Sheriff’s Office’s on-going investigation is the only way to hold the perpetrator accountable under the law, and Alley Cat Allies supports their investigation. They are aware of the photo and Facebook posts that appear to show an act of cruelty, but those items do not provide sufficient evidence to file criminal charges. Authorities need physical evidence or testimony from residents with firsthand knowledge of the incident.
The person of interest in this story has not been arrested or convicted, and remains innocent until proven guilty. But the idea that a veterinarian, the very person we trust to help animals, would post such a picture and her comments is deeply concerning. We have filed a formal complaint with the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners requesting that the veterinarian’s license be revoked.
There is currently an online petition which now has over 28,000 supporters, We Ask That You Revoke The License of Kristen Lindsey, DVM at https://www.change.org/p/texas-state-board-of-veterinary-medical-examiners-revoke-the-license-of-kristen-lindsey-dvm?recruiter=2122482&utm_campaign=signature_receipt_twitter_dialog&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition#petition-letter
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), is also investigating.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), is also investigating. This is what they have to say on their website:
On Friday, April 17, the image of a veterinarian posing with a cat she claimed to have shot with a bow and arrow quickly went viral and led to an outpouring of anger and disgust from around the world.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) was equally appalled and disturbed by this image, and immediately took action to assess the situation while responding to individual complaints via social media and telephone. A special e-mail address, JudicialCouncil@avma.org, has been established to gather complaints regarding this situation and forward to the AVMA Judicial Council, which investigates all matters concerning allegations of unethical conduct of veterinarians. The AVMA Judicial Council can take action up to, and including, dismissal from the AVMA in accordance with the AVMA’s Rules of Disciplinary Procedures.
Dr Jones Responds
This is a horrible event, that is really so hard to believe actually happened.
A veterinarian, entrusted to care for animals,would have taken this veterinary oath…
If the story is true, then she should be criminally charged, and have her veterinary license removed by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners.
What appears to have been done is the opposite of this oath, and what it really means to be a veterinarian..She is expected to protect animal health, and relieve animal suffering- where in fact she has done the exact opposite, showing a complete disregard for what she supposedly stood for.
Kristen Lindsey should not be practicing veterinary medicine.
Andrew Jones, DVM
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