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Court affirms that piercing cats is cruelty

Piercing kittens is cruel, a panel of Pennsylvania judges has affirmed.

Three judges of the Superior Court upheld a conviction for animal cruelty of a dog groomer who had offered “gothic” kittens for sale on eBay.

An investigation into the pierced kittens began in 2008 when a citizen saw the animals being offered for $100 each on eBay, inquired about them and reported it to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County, according to the Times Leader in Wilkes Barre.

A citizen tipped off PETA, as well, which conducted an investigation of its own and passed on information to the SPCA.

Accompanied by state police, SPCA officials visited Pawside Parlor, located at the home of Holly Crawford in Sweet Valley, Pa. They removed three kittens and a cat. While at the home, police also found a dog with pierced ears.

A jury found Crawford guilty of animal cruelty, and last year she was sentenced to six months of home detention and electronic monitoring, followed by probation.

In her appeal, Crawford argued that Pennsylvania’s cruelty statutes were too vague, and pointed out that many accepted veterinary procedures like declawing cats and cutting a dog’s vocal cords could fall under the same category she was being prosecuted under.

The law forbids “acts that maim, mutilate, torture or disfigure the animal.”

This week, the Superior Court panel upheld the lower court’s findings, the New York Times reported.

In a 19-page opinion, Judge Kate Ford Elliott wrote that “metal protruded from the kittens’ small bodies, pierced through their ears and necks, and at least one of these kittens also had an elastic band tied around its tail, an attempt at docking …”

Crawford, who was described in the opinion as being “enthusiastic about piercing,” had admitted to piercing the kittens without anesthetic.

“Appellant’s claims center on her premise that a person of normal intelligence would not know whether piercing a kitten’s ears or banding its tail is maiming, mutilating, torturing or disfiguring an animal.” Judge Elliott wrote.  “We disagree.”


Comment from smoketoomuch
Time June 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Sick chick.
Admittedly, I don’t get the whole piercing thing where humans are concerned, so I certainly can’t comprehend doing it to a kitten / whatever.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time June 18, 2011 at 12:04 am

I have to admit that my ears are pierced, but I still think I have room to talk. I was close to adulthood when I took my first paycheck and had it done, so it was my own decision. It didn’t hurt much, but I wasn’t a tiny kitten, either. Nothing else is pierced, and no one has ever tied a rubber band around any of my appendages (fingers, toes, legs, whatever) so that they could rot off. I think the woman is out of her mind. She needs to be prevented from ever having an animal again, and God help any children she produces.

Comment from Kathy G
Time June 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Anne’n’Spencer said it all. Amazing the nuts out there in the world. How sad for their poor animals.

Comment from Ponybuster
Time June 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Nice to see the law stepping up!! Other states need to follow..Time for all animal cruelty cases to make an example out of people who do this..

Comment from Smoketoomuch
Time June 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

@Anne… I’ll gladly grant an exemption for (human) ears. Don’t know too many ladies who haven’t undergone that particular procedure.