BRENHAM, Texas (KBTX) – A Texas veterinarian is at the center of a social media firestorm, and could face charges, after bragging about killing a cat with a bow and arrow.
Sunday (June 28)
The American Veterinary Medical Association is not happy that it was mentioned in reference to an Austin County grand jury’s decision not to charge the former Brenham vet who bragged about killing a cat with a bow and arrow.
The AVMA is upset because their euthanasia guidelines were cited when they have nothing to do with use of a bow and arrow to kill a cat.
Click here to read more about the AVMA's stance on the issue.
Wednesday (June 24)
An Austin County Grand Jury returned with a "no bill" against the Brenham veterinarian who bragged about killing a cat with a bow and arrow.
That means Kristen Lindsey will not be charged.
Now two months since former Brenham veterinarian Kristen Lindsey's social media post bragging about a cat she shot with an arrow went viral, a grand jury is set to hear about the case for the first time.
Austin County District Attorney Travis Koehn says his office will present the Lindsey case Wednesday morning.
The grand jury meets once a month, but Koehn says his office has been working to gather information and conduct interviews, and did not present anything to the grand jury in April or May.
Wednesday (May 27)
Demonstrators gathered across from the Austin County Courthouse in Bellville to protest. They want Kristen Lindsey to face jail time for her actions.
The District Attorney released this statement:
"The criminal matter concerning Dr. Kristen Lindsey will not be presented to the Austin County Grand Jury on May 27,2015.
The Austin County District Attorney's office is actively pursuing statements, records and all other available evidence and information pertaining to this case prior to presenting it to the Grand Jury, just as it does in all felony cases.
No further information will be released at this time as this is a pending criminal matter."
Tuesday (May 26)
Kristen Lindsey's case will not be presented to the grand jury at tomorrow's hearing. The Austin County District Attorney’s Office says it is still investigating.
A group of people who believe Lindsey should be prosecuted plan to protest outside the courthouse in Bellville.
The case could be presented to the grand jury on June 24.
Tuesday (May 12)
The next Austin County Grand Jury meets May 27. There is no indication at this point whether Kristen Lindsey's case will be presented.
Wednesday (April 29)
The case will not be presented to the Austin County Grand Jury which convened today.
“The Austin County District Attorney's office is currently in the process of
gathering all available evidence and information to present to the Grand Jury, just as it does in all cases.”
A small group of protesters has gathered outside the Austin County Courthouse. They’re holding signs that say “Justice For Tiger,” the cat believed to have been killed by Kristen Lindsey.
Wednesday (April 22)
“My office will carefully review this matter, as we do with all investigations forwarded by law enforcement.
I appreciate that there has been intense worldwide interest in this case.
As the case is presently under review, we have no other comment about the investigation at this time.”
Austin County District Attorney
Tuesday (April 21)
The Austin County District Attorney's Office is now reviewing the case.
No decision yet on charges.
The Austin County Sheriff's Office has sent its investigation of the Brenham veterinarian who bragged on Facebook about killing a cat to the District Attorney's Office.
"At 7:59 this morning, the Austin County Sheriff has completed the investigation of the Animal Cruelty case first reported to us last Friday. The completed case file has been turned over to the Austin County District Attorney for filing of charges under Texas Penal Code 42.092.
With the completion of the investigation, the Sheriff's Office will not release any further comments or updates to this case. Any comments, questions or information requests must be made directly to the District Attorney's Office."
Monday (April 20)
Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes will not say whether his investigators questioned Kristen Lindsey on Monday.
Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office said they had been in touch with Lindsey and would interview her early this week.
The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has opened an investigation into Kristen Lindsey, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The Board, which issues veterinarians a license to practice in Texas, has said it is aware of the incident but will not confirm or deny whether there is an investigation.
The AMVA released a statement about the incident. It reads:
“We, too, were shocked and appalled by this image when we saw it. Every veterinarian takes an oath that 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.”
We are confident that the legal system and licensing board will take appropriate action, and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
Sunday (April 19)
The Austin County Sheriff’s Office says it has a number of deputies assigned solely to this case.
Once their investigation is complete, the Sheriff’s Office will turn the case over to the District Attorney's Office who “will most likely present it to the next session of the Grand Jury.”
“We realize that a fervor exists in this case, however we will do our part in the proper, legal, and ethical manner in order to provide the court system with all information and evidence it needs.”
Investigators from the Austin County Sheriff's Office have been in contact with Kristen Lindsey.
They say they will interview Lindsey at the Sheriff's Office early this week.
Kristen Lindsey’s parents apparently saw her kill the cat. Afterwards, her mom says she took the controversial photo.
In the comment section below the Facebook where Lindsey bragged about it, her mom Becky wrote "She was practicing in the yard. Jack and I were watching and saw it all go down!" (see Featured images below this story)
Someone named James DG then questioned whether the picture was altered using Photoshop.
Becky replied, "I took the picture!"
Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes told News 3 on Friday he was not aware of any witnesses. We’ll follow up with him and ask him about this post.
The school where Dr. Kristen Lindsey earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine is not standing behind the Brenham vet after she bragged on Facebook about killing a cat with a bow and arrow.
The Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State sent the following letter to students, faculty and staff to “strongly decry (Lindsey’s) grotesque actions.”
Saturday (April 18)
Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes said his office has reached out to Dr. Kristen Lindsey.
"She didn't want to talk to us at this time," he said. "She said she was going to come in with her attorney. Hopefully early next week, we get something cracking. Hopefully this girl comes in. She may. She may not."
Brandes said he could not arrest and Lindsey unless an investigation determines the picture of the dead cat is genuine.
"I've had people calling me from all over the country expressing their concern," Brandes said. "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."
"All these people are jumping up and down, they want action," Brandes said. "The wheels of justice turn slow. You want to be sure once you accuse and arrest someone."
The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners lists Dr. Kristen Lindsey as holding a valid license since June 2012 and with no disciplinary actions.
From the Austin County Sheriff's Office:
Interviews are being conducted - witnesses searched for, and statements taken. Once the report is complete, all evidence and relevant items will be turned over to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution. Under Texas law, all elements of an offense have to be present and demonstrated in the investigatory process. Unlike TV, these investigations take time. There is no way we can say with certainty exactly when the investigation will be complete. When that event occurs, we will post on this Facebook page that the reports have been turned over to the prosecutors.
The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) says it “strongly condemns the actions of” Kristen Lindsey.
TVMA released a statement saying her “actions directly violate the veterinarian’s oath taken to use his or her “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 conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.”
We are saddened and disturbed by the unfortunate actions of this individual, and we remind Texas residents that this conduct is not reflective of the veterinary profession or of the veterinarians who strive to embody the words of the veterinarian’s oath every day.”
Friday (April 17)
Despite the controversy, fired veterinarian Kristen Lindsey does have supporters in Washington County.
Shannon Stoddard stopped by the Washington Animal Clinic with balloons and a thank you note.
"She's amazing. She’s caring,” Stoddard said. “She’s a good vet, so maybe her bad choice of posting something on Facebook was not good. But I don't think she should be judged for it."
Washington County Resident Preston Northrup said "all these people in the cities just don't understand what goes on in the country and they get in an uproar. They ought to just mind their own business."
Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes says he was disturbed by Dr. Kristen Lindsey's photo.
"This kind of stuff shouldn't happen in our society," Brandes said. "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."
Dr. Kristen Lindsey had been with the Washington Animal Clinic for two years. She graduated from Colorado State University.
4:00 p.m. Alley Cat Allies is offering a $7,500 reward for evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing the cat in Austin County.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Austin County Sheriff's Office at (979)-865-3111.
“Animal cruelty must be taken seriously, and the guilty parties should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies.
3:15 p.m. The cat that was killed with a bow and arrow is believed to be Tiger, a 6-year-old orange Tabby. Tiger went missing Wednesday. Kristen Lindsey posted the picture of the arrow through Tiger’s head at 8:48 p.m. Wednesday night.
Washington Animal Clinic received more than 500 phone calls Friday morning before they fired Kristen Lindsey, DVM.
Shortly before Noon, the clinic put duct tape over her name on the sign.
"Our goal now is to go on and try to fix our black eye and hope that people are reasonable and understand that those actions don't anyway portray what we're for here at Washington Animal Clinic," said Dr. Bruce Buenger. "We put our heart and soul into this place."
12:48 p.m. Animal rescue group says the cat that was killed was not feral. It was owned by an elderly couple.
12:00 p.m. UPDATE: The Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham has fired the veterinarian who bragged about killing a cat with a bow and arrow.
Dr. Kristen Lindsey, DVM posted a picture on her Facebook page of her holding an arrow that is sticking through the head of a dead cat. The post read “My first bow kill, lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it's head! Vet of the year award ... Gladly accepted."
The post quickly went viral and prompted numerous calls to the Brenham Police Department and Washington County Animal Control.
Brenham police say the cat was shot in Austin County. The Austin County Sheriff’s Office tells News 3 they are investigating. Sheriff Jack Brandes says he sent deputies out to New Wehdem Road Friday morning where the incident occurred.
Lindsey works for the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham. In the comment section of her post, she wrote “no I did not lose my job. Lol. Psshh. Like someone would get rid of me. I’m awesome!”
News 3 contacted the clinic to speak with Lindsey. They told us she is not available and they have no comment about the incident at this time.
The clinic’s website is getting so much traffic that it crashed. Lindsey later removed her post and then pulled down her Facebook page.