A picture of the kittens on eBay, taken on a pet bed with ears weighed down by belly button rings, was noticed by a woman who contacted Crawford and subsequently authorities. Pennsylvania Humane Society officers and police removed four, three month old kittens and one cat from Crawford’s home.
The kittens had multiple piercings on their ears and necks. One kitten’s tail was docked and another’s banded.
The case grabbed attention from animal rights activists nationwide. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) condemned Crawford and describe the piercings as “barbaric”
No laws specifically state that docking cat’s tails or piercing cats is illegal.
Many Pennsylvanians are outraged by the case, citing it a waste of time and money. Supporters of Crawford claim that there is little difference between declawing a cat, spaying/neutering an animal, tagging wild game or wrapping a show dogs ears.
Carol Morrison, a Pennsylvania Humane Officer, testified the total expense to treat and rehabilitate the kittens was over $1,000.
Upon hearing the verdict, Crawford was distraught. Her defense attorney John Pike told reporters, “She really loves animals and is upset because in her heart she considers herself a true animal lover”
Crawford is to be sentenced March 31, 2010 and faces up to 5 years in prison. Reports say that the prosecutor is seeking a sentence of 12 to 18 months.
Ah, but this story only scratches the surface! Apparently there’s a real trade in “gothic” pets. According to the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, PA – Northern PA again, of all places – three kittens with ear, neck and tail piercings were removed from a home in Ross Township.
One of the officers from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County said the pierced kittens were being sold as â€œgothic kittensâ€ on an Internet auction site.
â€œThis is a first,â€ said Officer Carol Morrison. â€œItâ€™s unbelievable anybody would do this to kittens.â€ Yeah, well, surprize, surprize.
Once again, the investigation started when somebody noticed â€œgothic kittensâ€ being sold on eBay. The animals were also being sold on a pet classified Web site with an attached picture of a pierced kitten.
â€œYouâ€™re not allowed to sell live animals on eBay,â€ Morrison said. Nor ones that have been tortured and mutilated, I’ll bet.
Aside from the cats, a dog was also found with various piercings. Here’s another big fat “guess what happened next.” The perp had a pet grooming business in the basement of the residence. Several signs advertising â€œPawside Parlorâ€ were adorned on the front of the home. Hmm… nothing about body mutilations?
Morrison said the kittens will be checked by a veterinarian before deciding if the kittens will be placed for adoption. Or have a wooden stake driven through their hears (yeah, okay – bad joke).