Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced to Six Months for Creating “Gothic Kittens”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 2:00pm

"Gothic Kitty" creator Holly Crawford has been sentenced to six months of house arrest for using a 14-gauge needle to pierce the ears, necks and tails of three kittens and then attempting to sell the maimed felines over the Internet. The 35-year-old Pennsylvania woman was further ordered to close her dog grooming business for at least two years. Despite opposition from concerned citizens, the judge ruled in favor of allowing Crawford to maintain guardianship over her other pets, including a dog, three cats and three snakes.

Crawford was initially charged after a tip led humane investigators and the state police to her home on December 17, 2008. Investigators found and seized three kittens wearing heavy piercing jewelry on their ears, necks and tails. At least one of the kittens had a thick elastic band wrapped around his tail to prevent blood flow, as a means of docking it.

Despite arguments that Crawford used sterile needles and surgical soap when piercing the kittens, a Luzerne County jury found her guilty of animal cruelty. Helping to seal the conviction was expert testimony from the ASPCA's leading forensics veterinarian, Dr. Melinda Merck, who testified that the kittens had been maimed and disfigured, had their hearing damaged, and could have died.

"I was very happy to work with the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office on this case of abuse," says Dr. Merck. "The idea of mutilating animals in such a way for profit is appalling, I am glad justice was served."

If you know of an animal who is being hurt, please report it. To report animal cruelty in New York City, call the ASPCA's tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty elsewhere.

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How is this worst than de-clawing, tail or ear docking, or any of the number of things acceptable by veterinary standards all over the country?


Those things are done with anesthesia/pain killers in a sterile environment.


I agree. This is wrong. I had a female cat, very loving and well behaved that I trusted to go outdoors and run the neighborhood with little or no supervision. It started innocently enough.... she came home one day with her bellybutton pierced. She tried to hide it from me at first, and when I finally did see it, I just convinced myself that all the other cats were doing it and it was just a phase.... It wasn't. She would come home with more and more piercings in wierder and wierder places, and, I suspect, even a tattoo or two that she keeps her fur long enough to where I can't see them.... And, speaking of her fur.... It used to be the most beautiful shade of blonde with tabby highlights, then she started hanging around with this woman in our neighborhood who is a little on the eccentric side( all the kids say she is a "witch" but I personally think she is just misunderstood.) Or, I did until my kitty came home one day and had dyed her coat jet black.... I begged and pleaded for her to change it back, even pulling out cliches like the whole "bad luck" bit and everything. It only drove her farther from me. I noticed more and more she was spending time alone in her favorite windowsill and she didn't seem to be fitting in with the other neighborhood cats like she used to.... I even saw her a few times hanging out with this Chihuahua from the next block (I'm not racist, but you people know what kind of things those "Southern" types get into) Last week, I even found a bag of catnip under the front porch.... I can't prove positive that it is hers, but I have seen the way she acts sometimes around a feather tied to the end of a string..... More and more she sits alone, she stays up all night and sleeps all day. I don't want her to end up like some of the others I've seen, posing for memes on the internet for any click happy voyeur to see.... If I knew then what I know now I never would have let that first piercing go so easily.....

Missy Lopez

This is the best post (LOVE IT)


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Awesome! Are you a writer? If not you should look into it. You have style......

Holly D

As human being I chose to have my ears pierced and even I find that at the end of the day it feels great to take my earrings out and I dont wear especially large jewelry nor do I have ears that are now being forced out of their natural position as with the kitten pictured above. Nevermind the initial distress and lack of choice involved. As for the counter argument above re de-clawing, tail or ear docking - two wrongs don't make a right. What possible benefit is there for piercing pets other than the entertainment of the humans invloved? Please find another way to get your entertainment that dosent involve mutilating animals.


I CHOSE to pierce my ears, I CHOSE to have my tattoos, I CHOSE to pierce my nose, because I have the ability to CHOOSE. Just because some stupid sicko decided her kittens would look cute with piercings, or trendy or whatever reason doesnt mean that she has the right to inflict her way of life on an innocent kitten. It has no voice it cannot say no, and I for one believe that the stupid idiot who allowed her to still keep her animals after what she did, should maybe have himself pierced, and stick an elastic band around his bits to dock him and see how long he lasts with the pain!
Stupid Law, Stupid woman and I really hope that one day society can wake up and admit it was wrong with what we do and how we treat animals on the planet!!!

Worse than this

Kittens and puppies are cute and people feel more emotional about the cuter animals they know and live with.This is a cruel practice - so is docking puppies tails.
Far worse though, is the everyday, accepted treatment of animals we eat. Because we don't know them or live with them like puppies and kittens, we don't think about them much. I lived on my dads farm for 21 years and I have seen some terrible things that are done all the time. The calves get huge chunks taken out of their ears, tails and horns cut off - you ought to see the blood spurt out of those horns - like getting a limb cut off.

I am not a vegetarian but the country has become so greedy for meat and we eat far too much of it. We eat so much meat, farmers can't grow enough cows, sheep and chickens for slaughter.

If you love animals, start thinking about the ones you eat - they have feelings too but people just don't care about them because they never get up close to see how intelligent they are.


so why aren't YOU a vegetarian? I am a pescetarian mainly for the reasons you described..and I haven't experienced it firsthand...and you what's stopping you from standing up for your ideals?