Vet may have shot miss­ing cat

Texas an­i­mal clinic fires em­ployee af­ter a photo cir­cu­lates of her with a dead tabby pierced by an ar­row.

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Jenny Jarvie na­tion@la­times.com

A vet­eri­nar­ian in ru­ral Texas is the sub­ject of an an­i­mal-cru­elty in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter al­legedly brag­ging on so­cial me­dia about slay­ing a cat with a bow and ar­row.

In a post that was widely shared on Face­book, Kristen Lind­sey, 31, of Bren­ham, in south­ern Texas, ap­pears in a photo that shows her grin­ning as she holds up a dead or­ange tabby, still skew­ered on an ar­row.

“My first bow kill... lol,” read the cap­tion be­neath the im­age posted Wed­nes­day. “The only good feral tom­cat is one with an ar­row through [its] head. Vet of the year award... gladly ac­cepted.”

Some in the ru­ral com­mu­nity about 75 miles north­west of Hous­ton fear the slain cat was a fam­ily pet, Tiger, who had gone miss­ing that day.

“Still no signs of Tiger and his food went un­touched again,” re­ported a Face­book page ti­tled “Jus­tice for Cat Mur­dered By Kristen Lind­sey,” which at­tracted al­most 30,000 fol­low­ers in re­cent days. “Please pray,” a mod­er­a­tor of the Web page wrote. “As the hours move for­ward, hope seems to dwin­dle more.”

Lind­sey has al­ready been fired by the Wash­ing­ton An­i­mal Clinic in Bren­ham. “We are ab­so­lutely ap­palled, shocked, up­set, and dis­gusted by the con­duct,” the clinic stated in a post on its web­site. “We do not al­low such con­duct and we condemn it in the strong­est pos­si­ble man­ner.”

Austin County Sher­iff Jack W. Bran­des, who has three in­ves­ti­ga­tors on the case, said Satur­day that he was pro­ceed­ing cau­tiously be­fore talk­ing to pros­e­cu­tors about bring­ing charges of cru­elty to non-live­stock an­i­mals, a class A mis­de­meanor un­der the Texas pe­nal code. In­ves­ti­ga­tors, he said, had yet to in­ter­view Lind­sey or iden­tify the cat.

Lind­sey’s Face­book page has been taken down, and she could not be reached for com­ment Satur­day. Bran­des said his staff planned to meet with her and her at­tor­ney next week.

“If this did oc­cur, it’s a crim­i­nal act,” Bran­des said in an in­ter­view, not­ing that many in the com­mu­nity — in­clud­ing him­self — were both­ered by the pho­to­graph. “It’s dis­gust­ing and very alarm­ing. Yet our job is to in­ves­ti­gate, then present a case to the dis­trict at­tor­ney. Peo­ple are con­cerned, but we can’t con­vict some­one of a crime based on a pic­ture on Face­book.”

Since the con­tro­versy erupted, some Texas res­i­dents have is­sued death threats to Lind­sey. “PLEASE DO NOT post threats again Kristen or her fam­ily,” a mod­er­a­tor for the Jus­tice for Cat Mur­dered by Kristen Lind­sey Face­book page posted be­fore the page was ap­par­ently taken down Satur­day af­ter­noon. “We do NOT wish her ill feel­ings, but we do wish for jus­tice to be done.”

Oth­ers have come to Lind­sey’s de­fense. “All th­ese peo­ple in the cities just don’t un­der­stand what goes on in the coun­try and they get in an up­roar,” Wash­ing­ton County res­i­dent Pre­ston Northrup told the lo­cal KBTV-TV sta­tion. “They ought to just mind their own busi­ness.”

The Texas Ve­teri­nary Med­i­cal Assn. con­demned the ac­tion, re­leas­ing a state­ment that said, “We are sad­dened and dis­turbed by the un­for­tu­nate ac­tions of this in­di­vid­ual.”

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