This is a very unusual case involving a former veterinarian from Creal Springs, Illinois who was convicted last week on 11 charges, including felony animal cruelty. She was originally charged in May 2015 after police found feces, animal carcasses and animal organs on the floor of her Williamson County home.
Elisa Kirkpatrick was at one time a respected veterinarian. Something happened to change her. Perhaps it was a downturn in the economy, or perhaps she ended up a bit irrational. The news media doesn’t say exactly what happened for Kirkpatrick to lose her veterinary license.
In addition to being charged with four counts for practicing veterinary medicine without a license (which she admitted to in court last week before the judge), she was charged with felony animal cruelty and five counts of owner’s duties. Owner’s duties means the animals in Kirkpatrick’s care were in dangerous conditions.
Attorney John Clemons said that Kirkpatrick began with good intentions and always believed she was helping them and not hurting them. Clemons believes she was performing surgery on her kitchen island to earn money to get her license back stating
“I hope that someday this lady is out there somewhere treating animals again, with her compassion and her dedication.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Cervantes with Williamson County said Kirkpatrick knowingly kept her lack of a veterinary license from her clients, knew she shouldn’t practice veterinary medicine on a kitchen table, and admitted she was desperate for money. He pointed out Kirkpatrick did nothing to improve the condition of her home, and didn’t seek veterinary help for the animals she ended up harming.
Punishment for the felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty charge will be determined in court on September 9. Kirkpatrick could be sentenced a maximum of three years in prison.
How do the readers here feel about this case? Should Kirkpatrick be allowed to practice veterinary medicine once this is all behind her, or is she a danger to animals? This is the “Cliff Notes” version of this case. Click here for a more detailed report.