The Texas veterinarian who escaped criminal charges after bragging on Facebook that she'd killed a cat with a bow and arrow could end up being punished after all.
The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners found in a hearing last week that Kristen Lindsey violated its rules. The board will not reveal what, if any, punishment she will face until October, but it has the power to revoke her license.
Lindsey posted a gruesome photo on Facebook in April showing her holding up a cat impaled with an arrow. She quickly removed the photo, but not before it spread across the Internet.
Lindsey can be seen grinning in the picture, as she lifts the cat, named Tiger, like a trophy.
“My first bow kill, lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through its head! Vet of the year award … gladly accepted,” the text reads.
Warning: The photo Lindsey posted is graphic.
Lindsey was fired in April from the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham, Texas, soon after the Facebook post went public.
Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit animal rights group, is just one of many organizations that has called for more action to be taken against Lindsey.
"While we are happy that a violation was found, we won't know until October the severity of the punishment. Our hope is that her license is revoked," Liz Holtz, an attorney with Alley Cat Allies, told The Huffington Post.
"While this process is far from over, it is the first step in finding retribution for the senseless killing of Tiger," said Zandra Anderson, a lawyer specializing in animal law, who represents a group called Tiger's Justice Team. Anderson and her clients are "elated that the first rung in that process went well."
Tiger is remembered by those who knew him as a friendly cat, who liked riding around on his pet sitter Amy Hemsell's tractor.
“He loved everyone he met,” Hemsell told HuffPost in June. “He was my protector on the farm when I had pet sitting jobs there. He never left my side.”
Lindsey escaped criminal charges for killing Tiger after a grand jury found there was "insufficient proof" of wrongdoing.
Prosecutors lacked "proof that this incident even occurred in the state of Texas," according to a press release from the Austin County Criminal District Attorney’s office. And even if it had, it was unclear to prosecutors if Tiger had been "killed in a cruel manner" under the American Veterinary Medical Association's euthanasia guidelines.
Here's an excerpt from a blog post the AVMA published on its website shortly after the decision not to prosecute:
We were surprised by the District Attorney’s reference to the AVMA and our Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition in conveying the June “no bill” decision of the Austin County grand jury in the Kristen Lindsey case. The AVMA was neither consulted nor asked to provide information regarding the case, and we were not aware that the Guidelines would be presented in this way. Based on the statements in the press release, the District Attorney’s application of the Euthanasia Guidelines was seriously flawed.
Anderson said the AVMA and others that have weighed in on this case may finally be vindicated, should the board revoke Lindsey's license.
"That to me would be a very good result," she said.
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