Kristen Lindsey’s Attorney Brian Bishop has applied to the Supreme Court of Texas to review the judgement of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in suspending her license to practice. I think, in short, she wants to remove from the record any punishment that she received because she shot dead a neighbor’s cat, Tiger, with a bow and arrow. She wants the whole thing expunged from the record and she’s going to pursue that goal for as long as it takes. Funding is not an issue. Her parents must be funding it. Perhaps they feel guilty for raising her to enjoy killing animals.
I have read some of her application to the Supreme Court to get an idea of what it is all about. It’s a very long document so I don’t have all the facts but the gist of it is that when she shot Tiger her actions were in no way connected to her duties as a veterinarian.
Mr Bishop argues that as she was not convicted of a felony or misdemenour offense involving animal cruelty then her killing of Tiger falls outside of the veterinary practice rules under which she practices veterinary medicine.
Mr Bishop argues that you have to be convicted of an offense of animal cruelty before it can have an impact upon your employment as a veterinarian. He says that the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners exceeded their limited statutory authority by expanding the crimes which the board may rule are connected to the practice of veterinary medicine.
I know it is rather complicated and a bit boring for that reason but it is quite important. The bottom line is: is there a connection between Kristen Lindsey’s behavior in killing Tiger and her employment as a veterinarian? Mr Bishop, her attorney, says no and I would say the opposite.
Unprosecuted criminal behavior is connected to veterinarian’s fitness to practice
There are two connections. Firstly her behavior goes to her attitude as a veterinarian. The attitude of a veterinarian is vital to the quality of the service that he or she provides. It is a “qualification” if you like as important as passing exams. When she shot Tiger she demonstrated to the world that her attitude and personality is incompatible with being a veterinarian. Therefore, I would argue that there isn’t a necessity to convict her of a crime before making her criminal behavior relevant. It is sufficient in my view to commit a crime without prosecuting it to be effective in assessing whether the veterinarian should be suspended or disbarred. I think that the Supreme Court will come to the same conclusion. I certainly hope so.
There is a continuing argument, as I understand it, that she should have been prosecuted because her behavior was clearly criminal. I don’t know how she got away with it. Perhaps it was because she thought Tiger was feral and Tiger’s owners were ineffectual in ensuring that she was prosecuted. She was lucky and she should accept her weak punishment (suspension for a period) and move on.
The application was forwarded to the Supreme Court on 19th June 2018. We will await the outcome.
P.S. It’s worth making one last point. Mr Bishop says that Dr Lindsey did a ‘stupid thing’. Those are his actual words. In my book it is very wrong to describe Kristen Lindsey’s criminal behavior as ‘stupid’. It was deliberate and malicious. It was done with a disregard for the criminal law and a disrespect for a pet cat. She was reckless as to whether the cat was feral or domestic. It wasn’t a stupid act but a criminal act driven by her insensitivity towards animals because she is a sport hunter. She openly admits that she likes to kill animals. She does it all the time.
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