A veterinarian in Louisiana was arrested on Tuesday and charged with aggravated animal cruelty after allegedly fatally shooting her neighbors’ dog in the head.
Kelly Folse, 35, is accused of killing Bruizer, a 15-month-old dog who belonged to her next-door neighbors in River Ridge, The Times-Picayune reported. Prior to Bruizer’s death, Folse had sent “hostile” messages to one of the neighbors about the dog’s barking, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said during a news conference.
Folse’s family told local news station WWLT-TV that she is an animal lover and the allegations against her are outrageous.
Bruizer died on Dec. 14, the day after being found in the backyard of his home with a gunshot wound. A woman identified as one of the dog’s owners, Stacy Fitzner, told Fox 8 she had left him in the yard when she went to work. When Fitzner’s mother was passing by the home later that day, she noticed Bruizer lying motionless in the grass. When she stopped to check on him, she saw he was surrounded by blood.
Bruizer was rushed to the vet, where he died as a result of his injuries. Though he was taken to the same vet’s office where Folse worked — Abadie Veterinary Hospital — she was not involved in his treatment.
When investigators spoke to Bruizer’s family, they saw a series of threatening text messages from Folse, who complained about the dog barking too much and being aggressive, according to WWLT-TV. Lopinto said at the news conference, however, that investigators found no evidence the dog behaved aggressively.
Scott Abadie, the owner of Abadie Veterinary Hospital, said he fired Folse the day that Bruizer died, after the dog’s owners showed him “totally inappropriate and disgusting” text messages she had sent about Bruizer.
“So that gave us the first clue to it,” Abadie told WWLT-TV. “And later that morning there was some statements made about the dog that did not sit well with the technicians and myself and we just told her to leave right there.”
Abadie also addressed the incident in a Facebook post on Tuesday, saying that everyone at the hospital was “shocked and disgusted” by what happened.
In addition to the animal cruelty charge, Folse faces additional charges of illegal discharge of a firearm and drug possession.
The case is reminiscent of a 2015 incident involving Texas veterinarian Kristen Lindsey, who shot and killed a cat with a bow and arrow. However, while Folse has not admitted to killing Bruizer, Lindsey bragged about her kill on Facebook, posting a graphic photo on Facebook and writing, “Vet of the year award … gladly accepted.”