You might decorate your ears, eyebrows, nose, or other body parts with piercings to make an external statement about your personality, but would you do the same to your dog or cat or hamster?
Dog groomer Holly Crawford didn’t think there was anything wrong with piercing her kittens and then marketing them on e-Bay as “Goth Kitties” for hundreds of dollars. She had no qualms about piercing the kittens’ necks, ears, and tails with a 14-gauge needle, typically used to pierce the skin of cattle.
In a not-surprising development, Crawford was charged with animal cruelty after her Pennsylvania premises were raided last month. Crawford’s trial began earlier this week in a Pennsylvania court.
Crawford pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying she used sterile needles and surgical soap while she pierced her kittens. But a veterinarian who testified at the hearings said the kittens had been maimed, had their hearing altered, and could have died due to infections. The piercings at the back of the kittens’ necks and tails would also have hampered their balance and jumping, she said. On Wednesday, the court found Crawford guilty on one charge of animal cruelty.
The Sun reports on Crawford’s utter incomprehension over the furor about the pierced kittens:
Crawford said: “When I did it, it wasn’t with any cruel intentions. They were definitely loved, well-fed, no fleas, clipped nails. And they were happy.”
Daphna Nachminovitch, vice president for PETA, called the piercings “barbaric”.
“There’s no excuse for inflicting such pain on an animal that’s the size of your palm,” she said.
The defense argued that parents take their kids to have their ears pierced, so we shouldn’t make a fuss about pierced kittens; Crawford’s legal team said we shouldn’t have higher standards for cats. But last time we checked, little girls and boys don’t use a tail to balance when they jump off walls and trees. (Of course, the lives of animals in the average factory farm are probably far worse, but in that case, the cruelty is so widespread that it’s accepted by society—and it’s so easy to punish the one woman selling Goth Kitties.)
Crawford also lamented to the press that her dog grooming business, Pawside Parlor, had lost business since the “Goth Kitty” trial.
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Image: The Daily Mail