When Texas veterinarian Kristen Lindsey posted a photo of herself showing off a cat with an arrow through its skull, she set off a firestorm on Facebook. The caption she included, “The only good feral cat is one with an arrow through its head! Vet of the year award… gladly accepted,” only outraged Facebook users further and the consequences were immediate: several hours after Lindsey posted the photograph, the Washington Animal Clinic terminated her employment.
“We are absolutely appalled, shocked, upset, and disgusted by the conduct,” a Clinic spokesman stated. “We condemn it in the strongest possible manner.”
The Clinic had received upwards of 500 calls by noon from furious animal lovers. Even the Texas Veterinary Medical Association condemned the kill and made clear that, although Lindsey is not affiliated with their association, if she had been she would have violated their oath to protect an animal’s health and welfare.
The intentional killing of a cat is illegal in the United States and Lindsey could face charges if it is confirmed that she committed a crime. The Facebook page “Justice for Tiger” which is encouraging legal action against Lindsey currently has 47,746 followers. “Tiger” refers to a tabby cat that went missing a day before Lindsey posted the photograph, although it is still unknown whether the cat in her photograph is the missing Tiger.
In addition, the organization Alley Cat Allies is offering a $7,500 reward for evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of Kristen Lindsey.
“Animal cruelty must be taken seriously,” Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies said in a statement, “and the guilty parties should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Local authorities are investigating the matter, but it remains to be seen whether Kristen Lindsey will be charged.