Update on the Kristen Lindsey DVM Cat Killing Case

You may remember this high profile case well. Briefly Ms Lindsey is a Texas veterinarian who killed a neighbour’s cat, Tiger, with a bow and arrow. She proudly and boastfully published, on Facebook, a photo of Tiger’s dying body being held aloft by an arrow through his head. It was quite shocking, immoral and totally inappropriate for anyone never mind a vet whose role in life is to be concerned with the health and welfare of animals. Lindsey had announced to the world on social media that she enjoyed killing animals. She must have learnt that from her father. As a result she should never have chosen the veterinary profession as a career. Perhaps it is over.

Kristen Lindsey and dead cat
The infamous photo from Facebook which should end Kristen Lindsey’s veterinary career if justice is to be done.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Well, after much online criticism and campaigning the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TBVME) revoked Lindsey’s veterinary license. This lead to an appeal, in effect, whereby the matter will be formally heard and decided upon at State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).

In the meantime it has transpired that the parties — by which I mean the TBVME and Kristen Lindsey — have been in negotiation in what is called “mediation”. It is not clear what they were trying to mediate as her license had been revoked. Perhaps they were negotiating a compromise whereby TBVME allow her to practice veterinary medicine under supervision or some other restriction. We don’t know but we do know (as reported by chron.com) that the mediation failed to resolve the matter and therefore it will proceed as planned to a full and formal hearing, as mentioned. Apparently the mediation attempt lasted a full day.

I would say that the breakdown of mediation is a success for those of us who want her license to be fully revoked. We don’t want a compromise or some diluted or watered down result; only revocation of her license will satisfy the vast majority of people who know this case.

Records at the SOAH tell us that the case is proposed to be heard on 25-27th April 2016. It has not yet been firmly scheduled for that date, however. The date of the SOAH hearing had previously been set for March 8-10th but was postponed for mediation.

Alley Cat Allies published a news release last month in which they stated that the TBVME had requested a delay to the SOAH hearing to allow the parties to exchange evidence and information. This was because Lindsey had admitted in a deposition (a sworn document providing evidence) that she did not believe that Tiger had rabies when she shot him. However, earlier she had said that the cat was “likely rabid”. Personally, my feeling is that Lindsey had simply played the “rabies card” to get off what she realised was a reckless act that could and should ruin her veterinary career.

There it is, a full update unless someone can add more detail in a comment below which would be most welcome.

You can read about the whole sorry saga in a series of articles on PoC by clicking on this link.

22 thoughts on “Update on the Kristen Lindsey DVM Cat Killing Case”

  1. I would like to make a comment on the length of this case, having gone through legal stuff myself.
    I think that this is being handled very fast!
    In my case, I was trying to get my long term disability back from my company’s insurer. It took FOUR YEARS, and that was just to see a judge about a potential hearing!
    I settled out of court, because I was so tired of the whole thing.
    So, a little over a year to have something settled in court is nothing, compared to what usually happens.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing Penel. Yes, it has been proceeding reasonably quickly which is welcome. However, this case is very well known across the Western world as it has been well publicised on the Internet both on social media and in online newspapers. It is my belief that this has driven the case along or to put it this way: if there had not been any publicity on social media there would not have been any stories in the newspaper and it is my view that under these circumstances nothing would have happened. It would have been just another cat shot or killed by another person almost invisibly. Thousands upon thousands of cats are killed illegally every year but nothing happens.

      Reply
  2. According to a March 10 report by KHAU11 News, after spending all of Thursday in a mediation hearing no agreement was reached. An administrative law judge is expected to issue an order for the case to be heard at a later date.

    While this may sound like bad news, the extra time will allow further investigation into Lindsey’s actions, including false statements and misrepresentations made by Lindsey when she was investigated after the killing. Lindsey stated under oath that she believed Tiger was rabid and that she was out hunting when she killed him. She later said she wasn’t hunting and that Tiger wasn’t rabid.

    Lindsey further mocked the TVBME by ignoring their request to produce a body, stating the remains were decomposed and unavailable. She later admitted she didn’t search for Tiger’s remains. The board also asked for names and statements for all witnesses to the case. Lindsey provided names but no statements.

    http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2016/03/10/no-mediation-settlement-reached-vet-shot-cat-arrow/81624922/

    Reply
  3. I find this article to be somewhat misleading, and several comments are innaccurate. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but opinions should be stated as such, and not presented as facts. Factually speaking, the TBVME took immediate action on the Lindsey case, voted for the strongest possible penalty (license revocation) and has subsequently pursued the matter with diligence and commitment.

    Tiger supporters everywhere agreee that Lindsey’s license should be revoked. SO DOES THE TBVME, yet they are bound to follow procedural rules and regulations. This process takes time. The TBVME can not simply snap its fingers and suspend or revoke a vet’s license without due process. Lindsey has the legal right to appeal the board’s decision. When a judge suggested mediation, the board needed to comply. To do otherwise would jeopardaize the integrity of the case. The TBVME has to play by the rules in order to achieve the outcome they and we want: permanent revocation of Lindsey’s veterinary license. My opinion is that we would do better to reserve our anger and mistrust for Lindsey, rather than denigrate the agency that is working to revoke her license.

    Reply
    • Why is the article somewhat misleading, Betsy? It is factual as far as I am concerned except for a bit of speculation on the mediation (and why not) and suggesting, based on facts, that the intervention was down to media pressure. I don’t believe it is true to say that the TBVME took immediate action voluntarily as you imply. There was a lot of online campaigning going on. I would doubt that they would have taken action but for the high profile and organised campaigning which was picked up by the online news media putting pressure on the TBVME.

      Reply
      • Hello, Michael. I’ll gladly elaborate. The article is in error on several points of fact.
        First, the board has not yet revoked Lindsey’s license; they VOTED to revoke following last August’s Informal Conference, and issued an Agreed Order to Lindsey. Lindsey appealed the board’s Order and proposed sanctions (license revocation) and appealed the case. As you may know, Lindsey still has an active veterinary license, which she recently renewed. She is legally allowed to do this while the case is still open.

        Secondly, the article states that the vet board requested postponement of the hearing due to Lindsey’s “rabies defense.” This is incorrect. As stated in the board’s Motion for Continuance filed with SOAH, the board’s attorney needs more time to investigate details revealed in Lindsey’s February 9, 2016 deposition. These details relate to Respondent’s prospective witness Karen Chapman, and also to Dr. Bruce Buenger’s possible involvement in the case. . . not to Lindsey’s “rabies defense.”

        I also reject suggestions that the TBVME took action slowly or reluctantly, because the facts demonstrate otherwise. This highly publicized case ultimately resulted in over 700 formal complaints being filed with the vet board, but the board did not wait that long to take action. I am a complainant in the Lindsey case, and was the 25th person to file a formal complaint, on April 18, 2015. The board promptly sent me a reply indicating that an investigation was open. This letter is dated April 20, 2015, only FIVE DAYS after Lindsey killed Tiger.
        The board also issued and mailed me a case timeline on April 20, 2015, which culminated in a hearing set at SOAH within 18 months of the onset of investigation. The SOAH hearing is now tentatively set for late April, which is well within that timeline, and much faster than it might have been, considering the complexities of this case. I have remained in frequent contact with several TBVME staff members throughout this case, and I assure you they have conducted themselves with alacrity and integrity from the beginning. The TBVME has received a great deal of undeserved criticism, and I’m sad to see it occurring here on PoC.

        Reply
        • by chromeI would have thought that “voting to revoke” is next to the same thing as revoking. And I did say that in effect she is appealing the decision which is the same word that you have used. If she is appealing the order then that of itself must mean that the order carries weight. It must mean that the order has a meaning and that meaning is that they decided to revoke the licence.

          I have not said that she does not have an active veterinary licence. To be honest, I think that you are being rather pedantic in differentiating between voting to revoke and revoking. It is a very fine difference and one that is hardly worth discussing in my opinion.

          I feel that I’m allowed to express my opinion in saying that the Board would not have taken action but for the high-profile nature of this case which started on Facebook through the campaigning public and which ended up in the online news media. This put pressure on the Board. In addition to the numerous complaints. But for those complaints from the public I would very much doubt whether the Board would have taken action. They would not have taken action entirely voluntarily off their own back without encouragement from the public.

          As for the “rabies defence” this information comes from Alley Cat Allies via chron.com (as far as I am aware) as stated in the article. They are a reliable source of information as far as I am concerned. I can do no better than report on reliable sources.

          Reply
          • The difference between “voting to revoke” and “revoking” is that Kristen Lindsey still has an active license to practice veterinary medicine. That seems worth discussing to me.

            Alley Cat Allies is an admirable organization, but the best of us can make errors in reporting. There’s a great deal of misinformation circulating about the Lindsey case. The most reliable source information is the SOAH documents themselves, but I realize we may not all have time for thorough fact checking.

            While I regret my failure to demonstrate the vet board’s admirable conduct to your satisfaction, you’re certainly entitled to an opinion, and this is your page. I’ll retire from the field. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to comment, and for your continued interest in the Lindsey case.

            Reply
    • Contrary to what you claim, her license has not been revoked. The Board VOTED to revoke it, but Lindsey and her attorney chose to not accept that as punishment,and have caused this case to be long and drawn out. There was an SOAH hearing the last week in April where the case was presented again. The judges who heard the case are not expected to rule on it until the fall or later. There is nothing wrong with the TBVME-they are following legal protocol. Please give accurate updates on the case,so you don’t mislead readers. Thanks.

      Reply

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