Update #5: Feral cat advocacy group Alley Cat Allies has offered a reward in association with this investigation. Read the full story and details pertaining to the reward and the advocacy group.
Update #4: The Texas Veterinary Medical Association released a statement about the veterinarian condemning the alleged actions of the veterinarian.
“This individual’s actions directly violate the veterinarian’s oath taken to use his or her “scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.” We are saddened and disturbed by the unfortunate actions of this individual, and we remind Texas residents that this conduct is not reflective of the veterinary profession or of the veterinarians who strive to embody the words of the veterinarian’s oath every day.”
The press release from the TVMA can be found in its entirety online.
Friday evening, the Facebook page set up seeking justice for the cat shared a video of the male cat that Cooper alleged had identical markings to the cat allegedly killed with a bow and arrow by the veterinarian.
Update #3: Numerous social media accounts and a report from KBTX News claim that a veterinarian named Kristen Lindsey has been fired from the Texas animal clinic where Cooper originally alleged the woman worked. A co-owner of Washington Animal Clinic confirmed that Dr. Lindsey was terminated from the veterinary practice and that the alleged actions do not reflect the ideals of the clinic. The video from KBTX can be viewed at the end of this article.
Update #2: A Facebook page has been set up in connection with this case, and it has called for a stop to any complaints to the Texas veterinary clinic where people allege that the woman being investigated was employed.
“Please do not send them harassing phone calls or emails as they do have clients and animals to care for. Calling can hinder an animal in NEED!!”
Meanwhile, a petition has been set up calling for the removal of the veterinarian’s license. The petition and page include language and accusations that have not been legally established.
Update: Austin County Sheriff’s office reports, “We have a Deputy and a Lieutenant on the scene at this time, conducting the investigation.” The dispatchers are getting bombarded with calls, according to the update. For public safety, the sheriff’s office has asked the public to avoid tying up dispatch and to wait for an update in the investigation.
Original story: Police and animal control in Texas are investigating a possible crime of animal cruelty after numerous messages were sent to the Brenham Police Department claiming a veterinarian killed a domestic cat with an arrow and bragged about her “first bow kill” on Facebook. Reportedly, the original Facebook image is gone, but Texas resident Casie Cooper shared what she said was a screen grab of the image of an orange and white cat with an arrow sticking out of its head. Cooper’s public post has been shared a thousand times in the last 12 hours.
“This VETERINARIAN had the means to trap and humanely euthanize a cat that she felt was a nuisance. Instead, she chose to use it for target practice and brag about it on Facebook. ORIGINAL POST DELETED,” Cooper wrote on the public post. Facebook users bombarded the Brenham police with messages accusing Kristen Lindsey DVM of animal cruelty.
Brenham police took action quickly Friday morning, investigating the alleged cat killing.
“The Department and Animal Control have received numerous messages regarding the posting of a picture of a local vet holding a cat with an arrow through it’s head,” a post from the department’s Facebook page about the alleged veterinarian’s photo read. “We appreciate this being brought to our attention. We are investigating to determine where this took place and which agency has jurisdiction.”
Not long after, the Brenham Police Department posted an update.
“Update on the incident with the vet: Brenham PD has determined the incident occurred in Austin County, which places it outside our jurisdiction. However, the City’s Animal Control Supervisor is in contact with Austin County SO to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted. Thank you all again for bringing this to our attention.”
Texas animal cruelty law prohibits killing domestic cats and dogs without the owner’s consent. Lindsey’s alleged post claimed that the tomcat in the photo that was apparently killed with an arrow was a feral tomcat.
“The only good tomcat is one with an arrow through its head.”
According to Hill County Paw Pals, in Texas, a feral cat cannot be killed just for being a nuisance, and there is no way to gain consent from an owner to kill a feral cat, because by definition, a feral cat does not have an owner. A resident could humanely trap a feral cat and turn it in to animal control, call animal control for the cat’s removal, or trap the cat as part of a TNR program. Killing a domestic cat, even a feral domestic cat, is a state jail felony, according to the State of Texas.
The situation became even more complicated, because Cooper alleged that a local resident’s cat, named Tiger, had identical markings, lived on the same street, and has been missing for two days. Cooper alleges that the cat in the photo shot by an arrow, allegedly by a veterinarian, is a neighbor’s missing cat.
“I can’t imagine opening Facebook and seeing my pet hanging from an arrow by his head,” Cooper said.
Though an image, said to be a screen grab of the animal clinic where the woman allegedly worked, has been posted on Facebook showing Dr. Kristen Lindsey as a veterinarian at the local clinic, the website for the clinic has no such link as of midday Friday, and there is no official confirmation that the woman in the Facebook photo is definitively the veterinarian by that name.
Brenham police say the city’s animal control supervisor will cooperate with police in Austin County. A post from the Austin County Sheriff’s Facebook confirms that they are investigating the alleged crime.
“Regarding the reports of a animal being shot with an arrow:
At this time we only have Facebook reports of this occurring. We are sending a deputy to investigate. If this has occurred in our jurisdiction, we will follow the letter of the law as defined in the Texas Penal Code Sec 42.092.”
Meanwhile, Texas residents have switched gears and are reporting that they are calling and messaging the Austin County Sheriff and the clinic where the woman allegedly was employed as a veterinarian.
[Photo via Casie Cooper/Facebook]