December 01, 2016

 

 Controversial Texas veterinarian’s license suspended for a year

Posted Nov. 16, 2016 

The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners suspended the license of Dr. Kristen Lindsey for one year in response to her infamously boasting on Facebook about killing a cat with an arrow.   

The state licensing board also ordered the 33-year-old veterinarian to serve four years of probation and to complete animal welfare training and other education.  

The Oct. 18 ruling was quickly criticized as too lenient by animal advocacy organizations such as Alley Cat Allies, which pushed for harsh punishment for Dr. Lindsey, filed an amicus brief, and offered testimony in the case (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2015).  

“Only a permanent revocation of Kristen Lindsey’s license is an acceptable ruling given the level of contempt for animals she has demonstrated,” said Misty Christo, Alley Cat Allies’ lead attorney on the case, in an Oct. 8 press release. In April, she had expressed shock at hearing testimony “confirming that (the cat) was still alive” in the Facebook picture.

Dr. Lindsey did not respond to an email request for an interview.  

A photo posted on Dr. Lindsey’s Facebook page had shown her holding an orange and white cat with an arrow through its head. “My first bow kill lol,” read the April 17, 2015, post. “The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s head! Vet of the year award … gladly accepted.”  

The image immediately went viral, sparking outrage and condemnation. A short time later, Dr. Lindsey was fired from the small animal clinic in Brenham, Texas, where she’d been employed.  

An Austin County, Texas, grand jury found insufficient evidence to charge Dr. Lindsey with animal cruelty. Sheriff’s investigators lacked probable cause to obtain a search warrant, as they weren’t able to determine where or when the incident occurred. Subpoenas to Facebook failed to produce usable evidence because Dr. Lindsey’s Facebook account had been deleted.  

Investigators could neither prove the cat was killed in Texas nor confirm that the animal was a pet named Tiger.

AVMA records show Dr. Lindsey’s Association membership ended Jan. 1, 2016. The 2012 veterinary graduate of Colorado State University can practice veterinary medicine in Texas again in October 2017.

Related JAVMA content: