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Tag: kittens

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.”

Two teens charged in burning of “Mittens”

Baltimore police said Monday that two 17-year-old boys have been charged with multiple accounts of animal cruelty in connection with using lighter fluid to set a cat named Mittens on fire in Baltimore’s Central Park Heights neighborhood.

The owner of the cat, who lives on the 3300 block of St. Ambrose Ave.,  told police that the animal had been set on fire by her grandson and a friend.

A witness told police that the suspects brought the cat onto a rear, second-floor deck three weeks ago and and put a milk crate on top of the pet. They then poured lighter fluid through the openings in the crate and dropped a book of lit matches into the crate, police said.

Police said the cat howled, knocked the milk crate over and leapt from the balcony, running in circles until the flames went out.

Mittens recently had three kittens, and continues to nurse them in her new surroundings — at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), where she is expected to survive her injuries.

Mittens’ ears were damaged as a result of the burns. She also sustained third- and fourth-degree burns on her back and side, according to BARCS.

Mother cat set on fire in Baltimore

In yet another case of animal abuse in Baltimore, a teenager doused a young female cat with lighter fluid and set her on fire.

The cat, and the kittens she recently gave birth to, were taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) after police responded to a call in the 3300 block Saint Ambrose Street.

The cat, who has been nicknamed Mittens at the shelter, is suffering from burns on most of her body.

Witnesses told police that, earlier this month, a juvenile placed the cat in a milk crate on the back porch, doused the milk crate and the cat with lighter fluid and then struck a match and threw it in the crate.

In flames, the cat broke free from the milk crate and ran from the yard, running in circles until the fire was extinguished, BARCS said. She then returned home and hid under a table.

Police have not reported whether any arrests were made at the residence, which they said still smelled of singed skin when they arrived.

The cat and her kittens are residing in “Critter Care” at BARCS. Mittens has third and fourth degree burns. She is expected to survive, but will need long term treatment.  It will be months before she is healed and her fur may not grow back

“This is another horrible case of animal abuse in Baltimore City, ” said Jennifer Brause, BARCS’ Executive Director. “Mittens is a wonderful cat, who despite her injuries is still caring for her kittens and is very affectionate to the staff.”

Mittens’ medical bills will be covered by BARCS’ Franky Fund, a fund that relies on donations from the public to pay the veterinarian and medical bills of injured animals that come to the shelter for care.

Donations to the Franky Fund are accepted through the BARCS website, or at the shelter, located at 301 Stockholm Street in South Baltimore (near M&T Bank Stadium).

Chihuahua mix serves as mom to kittens

Shyla, a Chihuahua mix in New Zealand, has undertaken the nursing of seven kittens born to a stray.

The kittens were taken in by a Pets n Vets clinic to save them from being euthanized, and Shyla, who has nursed a previous litter of kittens, was called to duty.

Home for the holidays? Foster a cat

Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) reports that it is in desperate need of foster homes for cats and kittens — especially mother cats and their kittens.

If you want to help, contact Debra Rahl: debra.rahl@baltimorecity.gov

Resurgence seen in “crush” videos, HSUS says

Animal “crush” videos — recorded depictions of extreme, and generally fatal, animal cruelty — have undergone a resurgence, ten years after they led to the passage of federal anti-animal cruelty laws, the Humane Society of the United States says.

With the U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of a federal anti-animal cruelty law on Oct. 6, the HSUS revealed the results of a new investigation showing that such videos are widely available on the Internet, despite the decade-old law, and even more so since it was struck down by  an appellate court last July.

The enactment of the Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law in 1999 halted the proliferation of animal crushing operations, the HSUS said. The law has also been used to crack down on commercial dogfighting operations.

“The federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law is the only tool available to crack down on this horrific form of extreme animal cruelty,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We wouldn’t allow the sale of videos of actual child abuse or murder staged for the express purpose of selling videos of such criminal acts, and the same legal principles apply to despicable acts of animal cruelty.”

Pacelle wrote about the crushing issue on his blog yesterday.

The videos and photographs show, among other things, women, often in high-heeled shoes, impaling and crushing  puppies, kittens and other small animals. Read more »

One week remains in “Baltimore 500″

Baltimore area animal shelters have one week to go in their race to place 500 cats in adoptive homes by the end of the month — and so far they are on target to make the goal.

“It is so wonderful to see the people of the Baltimore area opening their hearts and homes to cats and kittens during this campaign,” said Jennifer Mead-Brause, executive director of Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS). “We still have plenty of wonderful cats and kittens who need new homes. This is the best time to consider adoption. And if you already have a cat and kitten, this is the very best time to adopt a playmate for him or her.”

During the month of June, cat and kitten adoption fees are being waived at BARCS, the Maryland SPCA, and the Baltimore Humane Society.

From June 1 through 21 Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) and the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MD SPCA) adopted out 344 cats. Information about the campaign is available at Baltimore500.org.

Adoption fees for cats and kittens are being waived for the entire month, and six local veterinary clinics are offering free exams for cats and kittens adopted at participating shelters in June.