Texas cat-killing veterinarian loses state Supreme Court appeal

dvm360dvm360 July 2019
Volume 50
Issue 6

The Texas Supreme Court has reaffirmed the decision to hold Kristen Lindsey, DVM, accountable for her actions in 2015 that left a cat dead and sparked international outrage.

Lindsey testifying at an administrative hearing in 2016. Photo courtesy of Alley Cat Allies.

On April 15, 2015, Texas veterinarian Kristen Lindsey, DVM, made the fateful decision to post a photo of herself on Facebook holding a cat that she had just shot with a bow and arrow. The image, accompanied by boastful comments about the kill, quickly went viral and incited the wrath of pet lovers and veterinary professionals around the world.

Shortly after the incident occurred, Dr. Lindsey was fired from her position at the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham and her actions were denounced by the AVMA, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and her alma mater, Colorado State University.

In 2016, citing ethics violations and animal cruelty, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners suspended Dr. Lindsey's veterinary license for one year to be followed immediately by four years of probation.

According to court records, Dr. Lindsey's appeal to the Texas Supreme Court to revoke her punishment was denied late last week. She remains permitted to practice veterinary medicine only on a probationary basis until February 2020.

Although Dr. Lindsey admitted to killing the animal, she said the feral cat had been on her property, which gave her the right to kill it. But neighbors said the cat was a pet named Tiger.

“This was a case of a veterinarian not only ignoring her responsibility to relieve suffering, but actually rejoicing in the suffering she was inflicting on Tiger,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies in a statement on the group's website. “The Texas Supreme Court now becomes the highest authority in the state to confirm what we've known all along-that Kristen Lindsey is wholly deserving of punishment for her brutal killing of Tiger.”

Prior to appealing to the Texas Supreme Court, Dr. Lindsey made several failed attempts in lower courts to have her punishment revoked, claiming that it negated the right of property owners to protect their home and land against damage caused by animals.

According to a report on the Veterinary Information Network, Dr. Lindsey will not pursue further appeals in her case. It is unclear whether she is practicing veterinary medicine at this time.

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