After posting a graphic photo on her Facebook page in April 2015 that proudly showed off a dead cat impaled in the head by an arrow, Kristen Lindsey learned Tuesday that she had been suspended from practicing medicine for a year and will face four years of professional probation.
Lindsey, a Texas veterinarian, boasted about killing the cat on social media, writing “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.”
When her boss, the owner of Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham, Texas, discovered the photo, he fired her, according to USA Today.
Two months later, a grand jury in the state capital decided that the case contained insufficient proof to bring criminal charges. However, a complaint to the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners led to a professional investigation and hearings to determine whether Lindsey could keep her state animal-medicine license.
One of her co-workers told the board she had overheard Lindsey, who was not at the hearing Tuesday, allegedly speaking with her boss and landlord who told her to “take care of the cat.”
“What I understood him to mean was for Kristen to shoot the cat,” Karen Chapman said. “People do that all the time in Washington County.”
Brian Bishop, Lindsey’s lawyer, defended his client’s actions, saying feral cats carry disease and get into fights. Essentially, she was protecting her own cat, he said.
A lawyer for the Animal Legal Defense Fund told the board that Lindsey’s actions failed to adhere to Texas law and the standards of veterinary practice within the state.
Board members also heard testimony from members of a family that claimed the cat was theirs and neutered, according to USA Today. Claire and William Johnson said the cat was named Tiger and the board verified the information.
KVUE, a local television station, reported that Lindsey will have to participate in six hours of animal welfare training, on top of the 17 hours of continued education already recommended.