Dr. Kristen Lindsey is in the middle of a national scandal. She made the unwise decision to kill a cat using a bow and arrow, an indisputable act of animal cruelty, punishable by law in the state of her native Texas. Those who are struggling to understand this heinous act are no doubt puzzled as to why Kristen Lindsey would behave in such a manner, especially as a veterinarian.
Well, the truth is that there is a debate waging about feral cats that many citizens probably aren’t even aware of. However, through her cruel actions, Kristen Lindsey may have shined a bright light on it.
Veterinarian Kristen Lindsey bragged about killing a cat with an arrow, then about keeping her job. She got fired http://t.co/XU8q6jhPzH
— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) April 18, 2015
Tens of millions of feral or wild cats roam free in the United States alone. One main reason for this problem is that animal control agencies had no policies regarding cat populations for many decades. Instead, their primary concern was capturing and containing loose dogs. As the feral population boomed, many observers became concerned that these animals posed a health risk to the public and other animal populations.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) April 18, 2015
Feral cats are often taken to animals shelters, where they are put down as they are seen as unsuitable for adoption. According to the Feral Cat Project website, the state of Washington alone is said to eliminate upwards of 40,000 cats each year. The site adds that often cats thought to be feral were in fact missing pets that are never found.
That information is actually relevant to the Kristen Lindsey case. Kristen claimed that the cat she killed using a bow and arrow was a feral tomcat. However, KBTX is reporting that the Brenham, Texas, native killed the beloved pet of an elderly couple. Tiger, a 6-year-old orange tabby cat, went missing the exact same day Lindsey made the recording.
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) April 19, 2015
Regardless of how one feels about feral cats and their impact on the environment and public safety, it’s hard to argue that killing cats using a bow and arrow would even qualify as a necessary evil. Such an act would be at least carried out with compassion and remorse. The glee, self-congratulation, and lack of remorse demonstrated by Dr. Kristen Lindsey is highly disturbing.
On her Facebook page, Kristen remarked that, “The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through its head!” This sentiment is only surprising to those who have not encountered the extreme thinking associated with feral cats and population control. In her mind, Lindsey thought she was doing the animal world a favor by eliminating a wild male cat. Without the male around to impregnate female cats, the population wouldn’t spiral out of control. Hence, her “vet of the year” quip.
Dr. Kristen Lindsey has since deleted the post and her Facebook page. That didn’t stop her from being fired from the Washington Animal Clinic following backlash over her behavior. Her former employer reportedly received hundreds of angry phone calls before releasing her from her job.
— #OpFunKill ☮☯ (@SAnnwyn) April 19, 2015
A criminal investigation was launched by the Austin County Sheriff’s Office. Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes admitted to being “disturbed” by the photo and post shared by Lindsey.
“This kind of stuff shouldn’t happen in our society. It’s a very sad thing. Hopefully, we will get to the bottom of it and get the truth, 100% truth, and get it to the DA and put it in his hands if it needs to go any further.”
Even though numerous angry animal lovers are clamoring for Kristen Lindsey to be arrested and charged immediately, Brandes wants to the public to know that law enforcement doesn’t work that way.
“I’ve had people calling me from all over the country expressing their concern. I just want everybody to know several things. We can’t arrest and charge someone like that based on a picture on the internet. We have to make sure that is true and correct. Anybody can take a computer and alter a photograph.”
As concerned citizens wait and try to understand why something like this would happen, perhaps it becomes necessary to spare a thought for the type of environment that allows for the sort of thinking that would make this act possible: That the only good feral cat is a dead one. That their lives are of so little meaning that they can be disposed of in as brutal a fashion as one sees fit.
If a well-trained like Dr. Kristen Lindsey boasts about having this attitude toward feral cats… exactly how common is it? What made her feel so safe in her bias towards these animals that rather than euthanize the animal humanely (or even try to find a home for it), her immediate reaction was to reach for a bow and arrow?
Kristen Lindsey’s parents apparently saw her kill the cat. Afterwards, her mom says she took the controversial photo. http://t.co/8YKnndYxn6
— KBTX News (@KBTXNews) April 19, 2015
Do you believe negative perceptions of cats (feral cats specifically could have contributed to this heinous act? Why do you believe a veterinarian like Dr. Kristen Lindsey felt safe bragging about what she’d done?
[Image Credit: USA Today YouTube/Austin County Sheriff’s Office]