A Murderer in their Midst?

By Tiger’s Justice Team (“TJT”)

Introduction by Jean Salyer: Tiger’s Justice Team is encouraging people to contact the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) for an update on their investigation of Kristen Lindsey. Membership in the AVMA is voluntary and the organization has no authority to impose criminal or civil penalties on a member who engages in any type of misconduct. Still, membership in the AVMA enhances the stature of a veterinarian, and Kristen Lindsey does not belong in such a group.

Tiger's Justice Team questions the AVMA
Tiger’s Justice Team questions the AVMA
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Below is TJT’s inquiry to the AVMA and the AVMA’s written promise to investigate Kristen Lindsey.

Back on April 20, 2015, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) issued a statement condemning the killing of a cat by a Texas veterinarian. Although this group fell short of naming Kristen Lindsey as the killer, the implication is unmistakable. The full text of AVMA’s statement is shown at the end of this article.

The magnitude of the AVMA’s concern about the killing was so great they established a special judicial review committee to evaluate the incident. Since then, the public has heard nothing from the AVMA regarding their intentions toward Kristen Lindsey. They will not confirm or deny that she is a member of the AVMA; however, if Lindsey were not a member, there would be no need for any action to remove her or to conduct an investigation. As of August 9th, the investigation remains open and public comments are encouraged.

Please note that Tiger’s Justice Team applauds the AVMA for swiftly correcting the ludicrous claim of DA Travis Koehn that an arrow shot into the head of an animal constitutes humane euthanasia. That statement from the AVMA was of course separate from the judicial review which began in April in response to the bow and arrow killing.

Tiger’s Justice Team would like to emphasize that the AVMA has no authority to either prosecute Kristen Lindsey or revoke her veterinary license. However, the AVMA is a prestigious organization, and expulsion from that group would be a further indicator that Kristen Lindsey is not fit to be a veterinarian.

A veterinarian’s membership in the AVMA suggests to clients that the practitioner has met high standards of quality care for animals. As guardians of animals, we place faith and trust in veterinarians and the professional societies to which our vets belong. We believe it is reasonable for the animal loving public to know if Kristen Lindsey remains a member of the AVMA and what that group’s intentions are concerning her status.

We encourage Tiger supporters to contact the AVMA with your questions and comments about the Kristen Lindsey case. In particular please request the AVMA to issue a public statement on the status of their investigation. The email address is shown in the following statement by the AVMA:


AVMA’s Written Response

4/20/2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AVMA Judicial Council to review complaints against Texas veterinarian accused of killing cat with bow and arrow

​On Friday, April 17, the image of a veterinarian posing with a cat she claimed to have shot with a bow and arrow quickly went viral and led to an outpouring of anger and disgust from around the world.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) was equally appalled and disturbed by this image, and immediately took action to assess the situation while responding to individual complaints via social media and telephone. A special e-mail address, JudicialCouncil@avma.org, has been established to gather complaints regarding this situation and forward to the AVMA Judicial Council, which investigates all matters concerning allegations of unethical conduct of veterinarians. The AVMA Judicial Council can take action up to, and including, dismissal from the AVMA in accordance with the AVMA’s Rules of Disciplinary Procedures. 

Dr. Ron DeHaven, the chief executive officer of the AVMA, issued the following statement: 

‘The AVMA was shocked and appalled when we saw this image. We immediately contacted veterinary officials in Texas to assess the situation. We understand that the veterinary clinic for whom this veterinarian was working took quick action and terminated her employment. The Texas Veterinary Medical Licensing Board has opened an investigation, and local authorities are investigating to see whether any violations of law occurred. We are confident that the legal system and licensing board will take appropriate action, and we will continue to monitor the situation.

‘We are disturbed that this situation undermines the public trust and credibility that veterinarians have earned and so richly deserve. Every veterinarian takes an oath which 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.” The behavior depicted in the photograph and its caption is contrary to that oath and all that the veterinary profession strives to be; we are committed to ensuring that every animal is treated with respect and dignity. We see the veterinarian as helping to understand and convey the animal’s voice. The AVMA’s focus is on protecting the welfare of cats and all animals in all situations. We hope the alleged isolated actions of one veterinarian will not tarnish the proud reputation earned by thousands who have dedicated their careers to promote the welfare of animals everywhere.’

Comments on this situation previously received by the AVMA have been gathered and will be forwarded to the Judicial Council for review. Additional public concerns should be sent to JudicialCouncil@avma.org.

For more information about the AVMA, visit www.avma.org. 

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 86,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.


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Note from Michael: Thanks Jean for asking me to publish this. I too would urge concerned people to contact the AVMA to enquire about the progress of their investigation and request a public statement.

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5 thoughts on “A Murderer in their Midst?”

  1. I’m shocked that the AVMA don’t publicly list their members. I don’t understand why they conceal that information from the public. It doesn’t make sense and isn’t a very good foundation for building trust. How do Americans verify their vet genuinely has the qualifications to match the certificates hanging on their wall?

    The UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has a public register where we can search both vets and vet nurses. In just a matter of seconds, we can verify their qualifications and the date they were registered with the RCVS. Or we can search by veterinary practise for full details of staff. The RCVS web site also lists the outcomes of all Disciplinary Committee hearings from the past three years.

    The RCVS isn’t perfect, but being upfront about basic information the public has a right to know, can only help to promote confidence in the profession.

    Reply
    • Sandra: The e-mails I sent to JudicialCouncil@avma.org haven’t been rejected back to me, so perhaps it was a glitch when you tried e-mailing them yesterday.

      I had a quick look on the AVMA’s web site and there’s no mention on there of the case, but on 11th July they unveiled their new “Our passion. Our Profession” initiative, supposedly giving vets more opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions. This particular comment in the article caught my eye;

      ““Our passion. Our profession,” reassures our members that they are our passion and our profession. It also elicits a sense of pride among our members and is grounded in the deep-rooted passion you have for animals and your professional role in preserving both human and animal health.”

      I’ve quoted that article and asked the AVMA if they believe the actions of Ms Lindsey will have made one single vet proud to have her as a fellow member. If this is a new era for the AVMA, then surely her ‘deep-rooted passion’ for trophy-hunting pets, instead of ‘preserving’ their health, should disqualify her as a member?

      I’m not holding my breath for a response, but I did make a point of saying that I was writing from the U.K. and that like many others worldwide, am closely following this case. I want them to understand that what Lindsey did was so sickeningly cruel, that it has outraged not just locals, or even Americans, but animal lovers worldwide.

      Reply

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