The Brenham veterinarian who killed a cat with a bow and arrow and posted gloating photos to Facebook in 2015 will not be allowed to practice for a year, followed by four years of monitored practice, the State Board of Veterinary Examiners ruled Tuesday.
Kristen Lindsey, 32, claimed at the time that she thought the cat — which was on the property where she lived — was feral, but a couple later claimed it was their pet tabby, Tiger.
"My first bow kill...lol," Lindsey wrote beneath a photo of her holding up the cat by the arrow that had pierced its head. "The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it's head [sic]. Vet of the year award...gladly accepted." (Although she didn't win that award, she got the next-best thing — a nod in the Houston Press's 2015 "Turkeys of the Year" issue.)
Unfortunately, she also got fired from the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham. An Austin Grand jury later declined to indict her for animal cruelty.
The veterinary board voted Tuesday to give Lindsey five years' suspension, with four years stayed, meaning she's not able to practice for one year. During the subsequent four years, she'll have to be monitored by a supervising veterinarian approved by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, according to board spokeswoman Loris Jones.
The supervising vet will have to issue quarterly reports to the board, Jones added, and Lindsey is also required to obtain six hours of continuing education in animal welfare, in addition to the regularly required 17 hours annually. She has 30 days to appeal.
The California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund criticized the decision, opining in a press release that Lindsey should have lost her license — a penalty the board initially sought.
The ALDF stated that it 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."
Katie Jarl, Texas director of the Humane Society of the United States, echoed the sentiment, stating:
"The heartless action of brutally hunting and killing a cat is not only cruel, but shocking given her profession. No one wants to believe that the very people entrusted to care for our animals would be capable of such a violent act. This punishment is a slap on the wrist for Lindsey and a slap in the face for those that have advocated for justice in this case."
Lindsey, who described the cat in a February 2016 deposition as "a foul-smelling animal infested with fleas," declined to comment on the Board's decision.
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In her response to the Board's October 2015 complaint, Lindsey's attorney, Brian Bishop of Austin, argued that the cat had fought with Lindsey's "housecat probably four to five times, and at least two times during the week that Dr. Lindsey shot the cat." Also, "the cat had been defecating in and around Dr. Lindsey's horse feed buckets," and was not "friendly."
Clearly, Bishop seemed to imply, the only rational solution was to kill the sucker. He explored what's known in American jurisprudence as the "doctrine of redneckery" (habeas foxworthyus) even further, claiming:
"The Board...does not regulate offensiveness, bad social media judgment, or 'political correctness.' The Board also does not — or should not — 'take sides' in the culture war between animal rights/no-kill activists and 'pro-hunters'....[The decision] should not be influenced by the offensiveness of Dr. Lindsey's subsequent Facebook picture and postings or the volume or intensity of those who are from or live in a different culture."
So there you go.