State board follows recommended suspension for vet who killed cat with arrow
The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners made the decision Tuesday after a three-hour morning hearing in Austin, according to a board spokeswoman.
The suspension begins as soon as the order is signed, which will take place today, but Lindsey has 30 days to appeal the decision, spokeswoman Loris Jones said.
Lindsey's attorney, Brian Bishop, said in an emailed statement that she would appeal the decision.
"Dr. Lindsey and I are disappointed that the Board ordered suspension of Dr. Lindsey's license based on an action that had nothing to do with the practice of veterinary medicine.," Bishop said in the statement.
"We are also disappointed that the Board has, for all intents and purposes, chosen to take sides in the culture war between the animal rescues zealots – who have campaigned to destroy Dr. Lindsey and her family – versus rural property owners who have the right to protect their property and their own animals from feral animals who are destroying their property and threatening their own animals....," the statement continued.
Under terms of the four-year probation, Lindsey must be monitored by another veterinarian approved by the board and must submit quarterly reports, Jones said.
In addition, Lindsey must receive six hours of continuing education in animal welfare, in addition to the annual requirement of 17 hours.
The five-year discipline was based upon a proposal issued Aug. 15 by two administrative law judges. An online petition calling for her permanent suspension got more than 380,000 signatures before it was closed.
Among the approximately 25 attendees at Tuesday's hearing was Misty Christo, lead attorney for Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit organization that consistently pushed for harsh punishment for Lindsey.
"Only a permanent revocation of Kristen Lindsey's license is an acceptable ruling given the level of contempt for animals she has demonstrated," Christo said in a prepared statement. "She shot Tiger, dangled him by an arrow through his head as he slowly died, and then celebrated the killing on social media with a grisly photo. She clearly broke the public trust we place in veterinarians and should never practice medicine again."
Christo expressed concern about the prospect of Lindsey practicing veterinary medicine again in another year.
"With this ruling, animal owners may soon unknowingly place their animals in the care of a veterinarian who grossly violated her oath to prevent animal suffering" Christo said.
Also attending the hearing was David Rosengard, an attorney on a one-year fellowship with the Animal Legal Defense Fund's criminal justice program in Portland, Ore.
Rosengard, who spoke during the public comment period, said the reaction among spectators was one of profound disappointment at the board's decision.
"The public comments were uniformly interested in seeing Ms. Lindsey held accountable for the severity of her actions," Rosengard said. "She not only harmed the owners of the cat, Tiger, but she also harmed the trust that the public puts in veterinarians and, of course, she harmed Tiger himself."
According to the board's complaint against her, Lindsey shot an orange male cat through the head with a bow and arrow in April 2015. She posted a photo of herself on Facebook, smiling and holding up the arrow "with the cat's body dangling from the arrow shaft," the complaint stated.
Although Lindsey referred to the orange tomcat as feral, the board's complaint stated that the cat, named Tiger, belonged to a couple who lived near her home at the time of the incident.
On March 21, Lindsey was arrested in Harris County on a misdemeanor, first-offense charge of driving while intoxicated. According to court documents, her blood-alcohol level at the time was "at least 0.15," or nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.
She was released on $1,000 bail and has a court date Nov. 10 in Harris County Court No. 6.