Kristen Lindsey, the Texas veterinarian who recently lost her job because she posted a picture of herself with a cat that had been shot through the head with a bow and arrow, won’t be charged with a crime.
An Austin grand jury came back with a “no bill” in the case, which basically means there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue charges. “The Austin County Sheriff’s Office say they received an unsworn hearsay report that the vet was acting to protect her pets from a ‘potentially rabid stray cat,’ reported KHOU.com.
“After a thorough investigation, investigators [were] not able to determine where or when the incident took place. Without that, investigators lacked probable cause to obtain a search warrant for any Austin County properties pertaining to the incident.”
The verdict leaves a lot of people scratching their heads. If Kristen Lindsey posted a picture herself with the cat — holding it up by the arrow that was penetrating the cat’s skull no less — and bragged about killing him, then what more evidence is needed?
The case gained a lot of attention when the vet posted a picture of herself and the dead cat with the message: “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 gruesome photo, which was taken by Lindsey’s mother, went viral almost immediately after it was posted on Facebook and a huge public outcry caused Lindsey to lose her job at the Washington Animal Clinic. It was bad enough that anyone would shoot a cat, people reasoned, but a veterinarian on top of it made it worse.
Then things got even more complicated when it was learned that the cat wasn’t feral at all. Or even a stray for that matter. The orange and white tabby was named Tiger and belonged to an elderly couple in the neighborhood. Outrage spread across social media and news outlets.
Petitions began to spring up demanding that Lindsey lose her veterinary license. Now that charges won’t be pressed, protests have already begun springing up, including a group demanding justice for Tiger outside the courtroom on Wednesday when it was learned there would be no charges.
It wasn’t just about Tiger, protesters said. It was also about animal cruelty in general. A Facebook page demanding justice for Tiger has been started as well. In addition to losing her job, Kristen Lindsey has drawn the attention of the American Veterinary Medical Association, which released the following statement: “We, too, were shocked and appalled by this image when we saw it. Every veterinarian takes an oath that states in part that they will ‘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.’”
Although the veterinarian has dodged legal charges, it appears that she has been convicted in the court of public opinion.