Bench trial underway for former veterinarian charged with animal cruelty

WILLIAMSON COUNTY — A Williamson County Judge is expected to rule today in the case of a former Southern Illinois veterinarian who faces 12 separate charges including practicing medicine without a license, after investigators found dead animals at her Creal Springs home last year.


According to WSIL-TV, Elisa Kirkpatrick continued to practice on a suspended license because she was trying to get money to care for the animals in her home.


Pictures taken inside her home by firefighters showed cages, walls and animals covered in feces and urine. Some showed more than 50 trash bags and three deep freezers filled with animal carcasses and internal organs thrown on the floor around her kitchen island where she performed operations just days before her arrest.


Prosecutors in the case brought in expert vets, who claim some of the dogs were malnourished, had open wounds and were surrounded by other dead animals – a breeding ground for bacteria, fleshing eating bugs and other pathogens.

The defense argues that since most of the animals were never examined by a vet, except one that passed away, there’s no way to prove Kirkpatrick’s guilty of aggravated animal cruelty.