A Texas veterinarian who posted a photo on Facebook of herself holding a dead cat with an arrow through its head will not be charged, authorities say.
Austin County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday a grand jury failed to indict Dr. Kristen Lindsey after an investigation into the incident failed to uncover evidence that she broke any laws, CNN reports.
Investigators with the Austin County Sheriff's Office were notified April 17 of the now-deleted Facebook photo that showed Lindsey holding onto an arrow with a dead cat dangling from the end, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“My first bow kill lol,” the post accompanying the photo read. “The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it's head! Vet of the year award...gladly accepted.”
After the photo went viral and generated backlash from animal activists, Lindsey reportedly deleted her Facebook account.
She was also subsequently fired from her job at the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham.
“We are absolutely appalled, shocked, upset, and disgusted by the conduct,” the clinic said in a statement at the time of her firing. “We have parted ways with Ms. Lindsey. We do not allow such conduct and we condemn it in the strongest possible manner.”
The Austin County Sheriff's Office said they received a hearsay report that the animal was a “potentially rabid stray cat” and that Lindsey likely killed it to protect her own pets, according to KHOU News.
But Amy Hemsell, who spoke to KHOU, said that may not be true. Hemsell said she was a pet sitter for a cat named Tiger who looked remarkably like the cat in Lindsey’s photo.
“He went missing at the time, and when I saw the picture in my heart I knew it was him,” Hemsell said. “I'm hoping that she is punished to the fullest extent for animal cruelty.”
But without any evidence, authorities say, that isn’t possible.
“Without more information, the State lacks proof that this incident even occurred in the state of Texas,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release, noting that cat hunting is legal in other states, like Wyoming.
The release went on to note that investigators couldn’t even prove the cat had been killed in a cruel manner, citing American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines that include a “bolt to the head” as an acceptable form of euthanasia when done correctly.
Photo Credit: Facebook photos via Houston Chronicle