Lawyer for Texas Vet Who Killed Cat with Bow Says She Should Keep Her License
A lawyer for Kristen Lindsey tells PEOPLE that he and his client plan to appeal a Texas medical board's decision to suspend her license
Kristen Lindsey, a Brenham-based veterinarian, came under fire last April after she posted a Facebook photo of herself holding a dead cat with an arrow through its head, calling it her “first bow kill.” Although she was never charged for the killing, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners recently said it would suspend the woman from practicing medicine for a year and order her under four years of professional probation — a decision the woman’s lawyer, Brian Bishop, tells PEOPLE he and his client will appeal.
“Dr. Lindsey and I are disappointed that the Board ordered suspension of Dr. Lindsey’s license based on an action that had nothing to do with the practice of veterinary medicine. There is no evidence that Dr. Lindsey knew – or had any reason to know – that the cat she shot had an owner and [was] not feral,” Bishop says. “Dr. Lindsey did what she did to protect her property and her own cat from a free-roaming animal that was trespassing on her property, damaging her property, and endangering her domestic cat and her horse.”
He says he has filed a motion for a new trial on behalf of Lindsey.
The April 2015 photo showed a dead orange cat dangling by its head while Lindsey appeared to hold the animal up to pose for the photo. The image sparked outrage and Lindsey was fired from the Brenham’s Washington Animal Clinic as a result.
WATCH: License Suspended for Vet Who Posted Photo of Cat She Killed
As the photo garnered national attention, a professional investigation was launched, with the cat’s owners, Claire and William Johnson, coming forward to claim the feline, called Tiger.
However, Bishop says it is “absurd” that the Johnsons “didn’t care enough about the cat at the time to give it a collar and tag (or any evidence of ownership).”
The Johnsons did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
Bishop continued to denounce the board’s decision, saying that it did not have the “integrity” to “stand up to an irrational – but very vocal and aggressive – internet lynch mob of animal rescue zealots.”
“We are also disappointed that the Board has, for all intents and purposes, chosen to take sides in the culture war between the animal rescues zealots – who have campaigned to destroy Dr. Lindsey and her family – versus rural property owners who have the right to protect their property and their own animals from feral animals who are destroying their property and threatening their own animals,” he tells PEOPLE.
While Bishop says he believes the board’s decision was too harsh, a spokeswoman for the Animal Legal Defense Fund tells PEOPLE that it believes the board was too lenient.
“The Animal Legal Defense Fund is deeply disappointed by the Veterinary Board’s decision to only temporarily suspend Kristen Lindsey’s veterinary license,” the spokeswoman says.
“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.”