Texas veterinarian Kristen Lindsey, DVM, committed animal cruelty and acted unprofessionally when she killed a cat with a bow and arrow while off duty, state regulators stated Friday in a document calling for revocation of her license.
The document filed with the State Office of Administrative Hearings revealed other details of a case that has swamped the regulatory board with more than 700 formal complaints against Dr. Lindsey, written comments from people in 77 countries and more than 27,000 emails.
According to the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners:
- Lindsey’s mother apparently took the infamous photograph showing the dead cat hanging from an arrow held aloft by Lindsey.
- News reports and social media websites have identified the cat as Tiger, a neighbor’s orange tabby. The board did not conclusively identify the dead cat as Tiger, stating only that his owners and a pet sitter believed it was him based on distinctive markings they saw in the photo posted on Lindsey’s Facebook page. Tiger has been missing since the April 15 killing, the board noted.
- Tiger was a patient at Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham, Texas—the same hospital where Lindsey was employed until her firing. The document did not state whether Lindsey was ever Tiger’s veterinarian.
- Lindsey appeared to be wearing archery gloves in the photo. The board believed that the cat was shot with an arrow through the skull, possibly entering “through an eye or between his eyes.”
The photo was accompanied by Lindsey’s boastful comment, “My first bow kill … lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s [sic] head! Vet of the year award … gladly accepted.”
The board disclosed that the veterinarian’s mother, Becky Lindsey, also remarked about the killing.
“She was practicing in the yard,” Becky Lindsey wrote on Facebook, according to the document. “Jack and I were watching and saw it all go down! I took the picture!”
Jack is Lindsey’s father, the board noted.
The case moved to the State Office of Administrative Hearings after Lindsey failed to respond to the board’s August recommendation that she surrender her license. An administrative law judge is expected to take up the case months from now, possibly in early February.
Lindsey’s license remains active, but there is no indication that she is working as a veterinarian.
Her attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
In pushing for revocation of her license, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners cited Lindsey’s “lack of empathy” and “poor professional character.” The board found that she violated two sections of the state Veterinary Licensing Act—one pertaining to dishonest or illegal practices and the other to professional conduct.
The third breach was of a board rule regarding acts that violate state law. While a grand jury declined to return criminal charges and Lindsey was not convicted of a crime, state regulators determined that the lack of a conviction did not bar them from finding Lindsey responsible for animal cruelty.
Acts committed away from the workplace can affect a practitioner’s license, the state board stated.
“Veterinarians are frequently left alone with their vulnerable patients and are entrusted to perform dangerous and potentially painful procedures,” the document declared. “Thus, a veterinary license offers a unique opportunity to commit animal cruelty.
“Furthermore, the commission of animal cruelty is directly at odds with the ability, capacity and fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of the practice of veterinary medicine. Additionally, [Lindsey] documented her actions and presented them to the public as the actions of an exemplary veterinarian, deserving of a ‘vet of the year award.’
“For these reasons, [Lindsey’s] actions are connected with her professional practice and were committed under the guise of the practice of veterinary medicine.”