Southern Illinois vet found guilty on all counts, including animal cruelty

WILLIAMSON COUNTY — A 51-year-old former Southern Illinois veterinarian has been found guilty of all counts against her, including practicing medicine without a license.

Elisa Kirkpatrick continued to practice veterinary medicine on a suspended license because she was trying to get money to care for the animals in her home. Investigators found dead animals at her Creal Springs home last year.

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.

Kirkpatrick was also found guilty of aggravated animal cruelty, five misdemeanor counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license, and six misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

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.

According to the Williamson County Animal Control, the total number of live animals removed from the home was 33 dogs, 22 cats, three donkeys, two roosters, one full sized pig, one possum, one rabbit, one Scottish highland cow, one cockatoo, one bobcat, and one “African Serval.” The animals were placed with numerous shelters and rescue groups.

Kirkpatrick will be sentenced at a later date.