Best Friends Blog
 

Grand jury’s refusal to prosecute: A lack of compassion for cats

All cats' lives matterChances are if you even dabble in social media, you’ve read about the case of Texas veterinarian Kristen Lindsey. A wildly disturbing photo of Lindsey quickly made the rounds, showing the young woman holding up a cat with an arrow through his head. The caption on the photo made it clear who wanted credit for the kill — Lindsey herself.

My first bow kill, LOL. The only good tomcat is one with an arrow through its head. The vet of the year award, gladly accepted.”

For obvious reasons, we won’t be sharing the photo here. It was beyond grotesque — the kind of chilling photo that stays with you long after you see it. How can a human being (and a veterinarian to boot) commit such a cruel act? While the woman believed she killed a feral cat, Internet sleuths quickly made the connection to a missing owned cat named Tiger from the same area. Regardless, such disregard for life should not go unpunished.

The social media backlash was swift, which is what usually happens in these cases. Calls for her to be fired came from around the world, and her employer agreed. Lindsey was dismissed. The clinic in Texas immediately denounced the act and distanced itself from the former employee. The next step for the (rightfully) angry online mob was to see Lindsey prosecuted for cruelty. The evidence was so plainly obvious that it seemed like a slam dunk. But not so fast! Just this week, a Texas grand jury declined to indict her on animal cruelty charges.

The three main points for the grand jury’s decision are bizarre and defy logic for even the most casual observer of the case. The grand jury said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that it was impossible to determine if the killing actually took place in Texas; that the identity of the cat could not be corroborated; and (maybe the most disturbing aspect of the case) that shooting a cat with an arrow might not be cruel since it’s impossible to know if the cat suffered.

Whether or not the cat was actually Tiger, the missing cat from the neighborhood, should be entirely irrelevant. A cat is a cat, and which cat this was should hardly matter. Shooting any cat (feral or otherwise) with an arrow and gloating about it is barbaric and should always be considered animal cruelty. And while we can hope that the cat shot with the arrow didn’t suffer, the fact that the cat was killed without cause should have been all that the grand jury needed.

There are so many wonderful things happening for animals around the U.S. Just this week, San Diego, the eighth largest city in the country, declared its intent to go no-kill. Following in the footsteps of other municipalities around the country (including L.A., where Best Friends leads the NKLA initiative), this is great news for the animals, indeed. But Kristen Lindsey’s case is a stark reminder that we have, in so many ways, a long way to go in how we relate to animals as a society.

Next up, according to media reports, is a Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TBVME) review for Lindsey, in which the board will determine if she can keep her veterinary license. Here’s hoping that the TBVME sees this incident for what it was — a senseless killing that shouldn’t be glossed over, especially when it’s committed by someone who should be protecting our pets and other animals.

Please consider heading over to the TBVME Facebook page and leaving a comment. Politely let them know that you don’t believe someone with a history like Lindsey should be charged with caring for pets. We can only hope some pressure on the TBVME causes the board to do the right thing by taking away the license of someone who has an obvious track record of being so callous toward animals.

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Francis Battista
Co-founder
Best Friends Animal Society
Francis

  • Not going anywhere

    Every vet I’ve talked to has stated “she’s a disgrace to our profession”. They all were positive she would lose her license. The Texas Veterinary Board is also quickly becoming a disgrace to their profession. Time to act. “First do no harm”.

    • kim dyer

      The TBVME is working on it. It takes time to work through the process.

  • Cherri young

    This poor innocent cat did not deserve that evil death! I’m gonna go ahead and say it rot in the nearest hell Lindsy for what you’ve done!

  • Pam Claussen

    I doubt she will have any of her regular clients taking their pets to her for vet care. Word of mouth does a lot of damage.

  • homeisny

    REVOKE HER VET LICENSE NOW!!!!!! She calls herself a Vet then she goes and does this????? No matter if it was a stray or someone’s cat, she had no right to do it harm esp. in this matter…..what is/was wrong with her!!!!!!

  • Tempskya

    Apparently gloating to millions isn’t a confession or a reason to prosecute. It is further evidence that this judge is a MORON. However, we can do our own punishment, even though it will be inadequate. We can never let this incident die. We can make sure that it follows this miserable excuse for a human for the rest of her life. Post and repost, so that everyone you know is informed about her behavior. We can’t force them to take away her license, but we can influence those who would consider giving this horrific person any kind of job.

  • Kiki

    Did she not take the Veterinarian’s Oath?

    “Being admitted to the profession of veterinary
    medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the
    benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the
    prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources,
    the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical
    knowledge.

    I will practice my profession conscientiously, with
    dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical
    ethics.

    I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual
    improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.”
    It really sickens me how 1. Someone whose lifelong profession of caring for animals could ever do such a thing and 2. How can she still be practicing? She should have her license revoked IMMEDIATELY and never care for another animal again. Isn’t what she did illegal? She should be appropriately punished for her actions. This is not ok.

  • Diana

    This person needs to have her Veterinary license revoked immediately! She has no business being around animals let alone be in charge of their healthcare. A real danger! She should have been jailed!

  • JSpal

    Veterinarian’s Oath:
    Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society
    through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and
    relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the
    promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

    I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

    I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

  • That psycho has no right making money and a living from “helping animals” when she herself takes so much pleasure in killing them.

  • Chris

    We do not hunt domestic animals. Period. I hope she has a backup because she should never be employed as a veterinarian again. I wouldn’t even hire her to muck out the stables.

  • Kat Markiewicz

    No one that is suppose to be a animal doctor should be taking an animals life like that. It is sickening, disgusting and her license as a vet should be revoked. The judge who failed to convict should be censured as well.

  • desertgirl

    Every living being deserves the right to be treated with respect and dignity. As a veterinarian she might have trapped this feral cat and spayed or neutered it and released it back into the “wild”. Instead she seems to delight in having murdering it. She is a disgrace to the medical profession and should be stripped of her license.

  • Margaret Stringer

    Sometimes I am ashamed I belong to human species. This is one of those cases.

  • Heidi

    I can’t believe she just got a slap on the wrist. What she did was unconscionable. I do hope she will lose her license and never be allowed to work with animals again.

  • Barb Hinkel

    Don’t vets have to sign the same oath as human doctors? They should do no harm?!?!?!? Obviously she doesn’t believe in it!

  • Kaye Gipson

    I agree with Jackye & Ms.Flowergirl22. It takes a sick individual to mistreat animals!! She should get jail time for that crap!! To me hurting a animal is like hurting a child!!!! They r incent and didn’t ask to be born!!!!

  • nalana

    She is supposed to protect animals. Didnt she recite an oath at graduation?

  • Michelle Thayer

    She is in no way a person to be trusted with animals. Absolutely she should lose her license.

  • Terriross

    This vet should lose her license, , and makes u wonder how many of her patience she may have killed or allowed to die because of her attitude towards animals that she shows with killing this cat for no reason. She is a cruel nasty despicable human being I hope she gets what she deserves and I will laugh when she’s standing on the unemployment line.

  • Katherine Wrigh

    If this isn’t sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed against an animal then I don’t know what would be. It’s not difficult to understand why we aren’t making more strides, more quickly, when it comes to putting an end to animal cruelty. People are literally getting away with murder, and bragging about it.

  • Maryoline Sferruzza

    So I’m to believe shooting an animal with an arrow is not cruel and doesn’t hurt???Not surprising they decided not to pursue this; my understanding is her mother works for the government there. She NEEDS to lose her license. Disgusting.

  • Savanna Jones

    how about if you just give her the death penalty and stop letting these monsters get away with

  • Pamela Staab Johnson

    She has NO business being a VETERNARIAN … PERIOD!!!

  • MsFlowergirl22 .

    Disgusting….No one with that mind set should be allowed to practice medicine with animals….breaks my heart what that cat went thru….something horribly wrong with people that want to hurt animals…especially ones that want to brag about it….

  • Jackye

    The cat was shot through the head with an arrow. I can still see the picture in my mind. She proudly boasted that she did it and is no better then the man who taped a dogs snout with electrical tape. How about letting someone just hit this judge over the head with an arrow and see if it “hurts”?