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Police in Texas opened an investigation after a photo posted on Facebook by a veterinarian showed her holding up an allegedly dead cat pierced through the head with an arrow sparked international outrage.
Austin County Sheriff Jack W. Brandes told NBC News Saturday that after he was notified that Kristen Lindsey allegedly posted the graphic photo, he put three investigators on the case.
The caption on the photo read: "my first bow kill lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through its head! Vet of the year award ... gladly accepted."
The picture, which was posted Wednesday, according to NBC affiliate KPRC, has since been taken down, but not before it was screen-grabbed and spread all over the internet.
Lindsey was certified by the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in 2012. According to the board, there were no disciplinary actions against her.
Lindsey was fired by the Washington Animal Clinic in Brenham, Texas, after the photo was posted, the clinic said.
"We are absolutely appalled, shocked, upset, and disgusted by the conduct," the clinic said in a statement. "We do not allow such conduct and we condemn it in the strongest possible manner."
A sign outside the clinic that lists its vets had her name covered with tape, according to The Associated Press, and Linsey's name no longer appears on the clinic's staff page on their website.
Brandes, the sheriff, said he found the picture "very disturbing," but criminal charges cannot be brought until investigators find proof that Lindsey harmed the cat. "Anyone can alter a picture," he said.
"We cannot arrest anybody off of picture off of Facebook," Brandes said. But he said he and his investigators are determined to find the truth.
"You can bet your bottom dollar we will get to the bottom of it," he said.
— Elisha Fieldstadt