A Louisiana veterinarian was arrested on animal cruelty, gun and drug possession charges after she was accused of shooting dead her neighbor’s puppy because it wouldn’t stop barking. Dr. Kelly Folse, 35, was arrested in the town of Meredith on December 13. KMOV reports that Folse is accused of fatally shooting 15-month-old Bruizer, her neighbor’s American Bulldog. The station reports Bruizer was left outside while his owner went to work. NOLA.com reports that Bruizer was found lying dead on the lawn by a member of his owner’s family.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Folse Believed That the Dog Was Aggressive
WVUE reports that Folse is being charged with cruelty to animals and the illegal discharge of a weapon near a school. Folse’s home abuts the Hazel Park School’s playground. Both charges are felonies. Interim Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto told the media on December 19, “This is crazy, a veterinarian shooting a dog of her next door neighbor. This is nuts. I don’t know how else to put it.”
Bruizer’s owner, Stacey Fitzner, told WVUE that she left the puppy tied up in her backyard as she went to work. Fitzner told the station that whoever shot her dog came into her backyard to do so. The dog was rushed to Abadie Veterinary Hospital, where Folse worked, where he was pronounced dead. Folse was not working at the time. Neighbor Mike Giangroso described to WWLTV taking the dog to the hospital, saying, “The dog was still alive; he was still active and everything. So we took a blanket and put him in a blanket and we put him in the back of the pickup truck so we could bring him to the veterinarian.”
Sheriff Lopinto says that Fitzner shared with him aggressive text messages that she had received about the dog from Folse. The weapon used in the shooting has not yet been retrieved.
2. After the Shooting, Police Searched Folse’s Home & Found Narcotics
Folse has been arrested on unrelated drug charges, reports NOLA.com.
The website says that the drugs found in her home were procured with prescriptions intended for animals. The drugs seized were Adderall and diazepam.
3. Folse Has Worked With Animals Since She Was 15 Years Old
Folse worked at the Abadie Veterinary Hospital, according to her now-deleted profile on their website. Her former boss, Dr. Scott Abadie, told WVUE, “We’re shocked and disgusted of the actions of her. It’s just not something you expect of anybody, especially a vet.”
Abadie treated Bruizer when he was rushed to the hospital, telling WWLTV, “The vision of Bruizer, the way he was will stay with me forever. He had a bullet hole in the back of his head. An entry hole. And it came out through his right eye.” Abadie went on to describe Folse in glowing terms, saying, “Our clients loved her. I mean she worked at Arno with the Rescue Group. She’d worked here. We do a lot with rescue groups. And the rescue groups all loved her.”
The vet then described firing his former colleague: “The owner of Bruizer had text messages from her that were just totally inappropriate and disgusting, saying things about Bruizer. So that gave us the first clue to it. And later that morning there was some statements made about the dog that did not sit well with the technicians and myself and we just told her to leave right there.” Folse had worked at the hospital in some capacity since she was 15 years old. Abadie also said that Folse was a vegetarian.
4. Folse’s Uncle Is Trying to Defend His Niece on Facebook
Folse’s Facebook page has become littered with abusive comments after news of the dog shooting went public. One person, Teri Moret-Evans, wrote, “My daughter wants to be a vet…that’s all she talks about. She would be crushed to hear that someone who is suppose to care for and be an advocate for animals is KILLING them. Shameful!” Another, Jennifer Lynn DeLuca, wrote, “How dare you,,,,,that baby did nothing to you ya crazy b****!”
Her uncle, Larry Folse, has joined in, telling the commenters that he has reported them to Facebook and also saying, “She did not do this.” Her family made a similar statement to WWLTV, saying the allegations are “outrageous.”
5. Folse Cared for LSU’s Live Tiger Mascot
Folse graduated from Louisiana State University in 2010. During her time at the school, Folse was one of the caretakers for the school’s live tiger mascot, Mike IV. She wrote of her time, “I cared for Mike VI when he was an adolescent tiger, and he was stubborn and hilariously mischievous. His routine in the wee hours of the morning before he would leave his nighthouse for the day was to stretch out, chuff in my general direction, and then take the longest, most foul-smelling bowel movement possible. He would then look back at me and happily chuff. It’s funny the things that I remember the most. My years with Mike are some of the best experiences of my life.” In 2013, at LSU’s homecoming celebrations, Folse was honored for her work with the mascot on the football field prior to a game.