RIVER RIDGE, LA (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office has formally charged a local vet accused of shooting and killing a dog.
River Ridge veterinarian Kelly Folse is accused of shooting her neighbor's 15-month-old bulldog Bruizer in the head. He died the next day. We spoke with the dog's owner shortly after the shooting happened. She told us he was a friendly dog who was like a member of their family.
"He was always in the bed with us, always licking us, my son would ride him, he was a great, wonderful American bulldog," Bruizer's owner, Stacey Fitzner, said in December. "A normal person would not come on someone's property and shoot a dog in the back of the head, and such a loving sweet dog. It's disturbing."
Folse was working as a vet at Abadie Veterinarian Hospital in Harahan at the time of the shooting. Deputies believe she made numerous prior threats toward the dog because she thought it barked too much. But the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said they have found no evidence that the dog had ever shown aggressive behavior. Bruizer was taken to the same clinic where Folse worked after he was shot, but Folse was not responsible for his care. Folse's attorney, Robert Garrity, says she maintains her innocence.
"She did not shoot the dog, and the evidence we have, which is Dr. Abadie's medical records and the X-ray records, would indicate that she is telling the truth because the only gun that she owns is a .40-caliber pistol, and the wound that is showing in the X-ray was not made by a .40 caliber pistol It looks like it was something much smaller like a .22 caliber or a .17 caliber," said Garrity.
As for the drug charges, Folse's attorney says because she is a vet, she had medications in her possession to treat animals.
"The statutes clearly say that possession is not illegal if she is a practitioner using them in the course and scope, and they clearly know she is a vet. They clearly know that she has a DEA license," said Garrity.
FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti also weighed in.
"She's a first offender. I would bet with the right handling of this case she may not have jail time, but she's certainly going to have problems going forward, possibly with her license and with many other things - the ability to write prescriptions, for instance, is another thing she may have problems with," said Raspanti.
Her attorney says if convicted of animal cruelty, her license would likely be revoked.
"She is able to practice. Unfortunately, she's kryptonite right now, and no vet will hire her because of the gossip that's going on associated with these charges, so she's been delivering king cakes and menial jobs to try to stay afloat," said Garrity.
The owner of Adadie Vet Hospital told us back in December that Folse was fired because of the incident. She now faces a number of charges, including felony aggravated cruelty to an animal, illegal discharge of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a drug without a prescription.
She's expected in court next month for an arraignment. Her attorney says Folse intends to plead not-guilty.