Veterinarian struck, killed while aiding dog

Police searching for driver involved in hit-and-run

April 19, 2010 (published)
By Jennifer Fiala

A veterinarian remembered for her kindness and love for animals died Friday morning at the University Tennessee Medical Center after being struck by a SUV whose driver fled the scene.

Dr. Kathryn Gilpatric, 37, was hit last Thursday evening by an Isuzu Amigo on a road near her home in North Knoxville, Tenn. Gilpatric, a feline practitioner at the Cat Clinic of Knoxville, was aiding a dog that had been struck by another vehicle moments earlier.

A local news report relayed the story that a neighbor's two dogs ran out into the street when one was hit by the first vehicle, prompting Gilpatric to run out of her home to help. That's when the SUV struck the veterinarian. The second dog was struck as well and died instantly, the article states, though it is unclear what vehicle hit it.

In response to the news of the Gilpatric's death, former co-workers and friends have joined the general public in online expressions of grief. One former client writes:

"Our world is definitely poorer, having lost one of its hidden and most compassionate treasures. Thank you for everything you did to help our family, Kathyrn — for everything you've done for so many."

Gilpatric was a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. A former classmate and member of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) who requested anonymity relayed that Gilpatric is survived by her husband and young child. In an e-mail to the VIN News Service, he writes that Gilpatric was "always a good friend."

"I will always remember her for her kindness and sense of humor. She should be remembered, and I hope that vets can come together to help her family during this time."

Police are searching for a dark-colored Isuzu Amigo with a soft top that had been removed at the time Gilpatrick was struck. The Knoxville Police Department wants tips about the driver and vehicle to filter through its Crime Information Line at (865) 215-7212.

Details concerning funeral arrangements and memorial services for Gilpatric have not been publicly announced.

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