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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Hot Carl

You can cut a Dobermans ears so they stand up straight, but you can't pierce them. makes no sense.


She should have given the kittens to the ASPCA where they could be murdered and thrown in dumpsters instead...


But it's fine to murder the unborn baby in the womb?


I bet this woman is an Obama supporter.


More tyrannically arbitrary law and repressive sentancing. People have docked and cropped dogs' tails and ears for generations, and the practice remains legal in the United States. No difference. A six-month sentence and loss of income is disproportionate to this "crime". (I am against these practices in general, but there's more at stake here than animals being subjected to practices humans regularly do to themselves and their children.)


So all you people condemn this woman, but have nothing to say when cattle have their ear tagged? Or wildlife management tag animals?



Ever seen cattle branded, or a bull sterilized? The eyerolling pain they experience? Why isn't that hyped too? Because they're big beasts and not small fluffy kitties? Humans are terrible..period!


I have little respect for the ACPCA, odds are they would go against almost anyone that they could use for Publicity to use in their ad campaigns to get more money.

People elect to do lots of things that could end in death. Drive a car, walk down a sidewalk. Anyone remember the man who died in his home when that Jet crashed into it a few years ago? The question is not "if" but how likely?

Given the ACPCA's commercials, I'd not trust a word they say, much less even fathom anyone calling them a "professional".

Doesn't mean what she did was right either (the cat owner). But I'm sure we could find lots of people we think do things that are wrong and its really just our opinion..not fact based at all.

The Truth

You call these animals, "poor babies?" What do you call human infants, "dumb things?" This humanizing of animals by individuals is the joke of the universe. I cannot wait to hear about one of these individuals get shot through their bestial heart--by its parent--after diving into a lake or pool and saving a drowning puppy rather than an drowning human baby.


Let me get this right. Your saying manipulating an animal for "looks" or "cosmetics" is bad? Or doing so for profit is bad? I can only laugh at all the pet people when I hear stuff like this. Ok so I find an animal that has genetic defects that I find cute or otherwise to my liking. I search for another defective animal with the same defect, and I breed them. Do this over and over and poof, Pekinese, pug, or shepherd. ...Etc.. You see there are no natural pugs, or pits, or mastiffs, they are all manipulated geneticly defective animals of some other natural animal. So it is that ALL breeds of dogs are man made abominations, made for profit, or pride. Any dog is cruelty to animals. What would you call some one who wanted to start breeding our kids this way, to make them "better".. Hitler comes to mind..