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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.




This is simply awful to do this to these poor babies, and then try to make a profit out of them; how cruel. The judge should have not allowed her to have any type of animals in her possession. What makes the judge believe she won't torture another again? Bad judgment.

brian m

a judge should judge by what is right---whats wrong with piecing a pet.. and why shut down her buisness. when she has done nothing wrong--this is communism


Communism? that may be the most foolish thing I've heard in a while - did you not read the part where a veterinarian said that the animals were disfigured and could have died...and only for cosmetic purposes?


Pets need piercing as much as fish need bicycles. When you find a pet that can read, comprehend and sign a consent form then I will support it's piercing. Please, Brian M., don't ever adopt a pet.


What's wrong with it? Did the animals consent to such treatment? of course not as they can not. So they were put through the pain of piercings for cosmetic purposes only? I bet you also think it's okay to have sex with an animal as long as the animal doesn't say no.


Better not ever tag an animal for any reason (inventory control, conservation, tracking, ect) again then either because those animals didn't consent to it either. Also its akin NSA privacy invasions to track an animal without its consent too! I say we need to remove all the electronic tags from the animals because they never consented. Also we should never spay and neuter them as they didn't consent to that either!!!!!!!!


Huey, you and Brian M are morons


Hank, stop. If I pierce a 1 year old baby, I did not have consent. I disfigured him or her, Caused pain and anguish etc. So what pain are you talking bout there bubba? A young child can take more than a dog? Problem is the ASPCA brah. They provided their own expert? Get the fuck outtahere. So, Hank, please be honest. If not here than at least in the mirror. Ever own, or know someone who has, a: Boxer, Bull Dog, Rottweiler, German shepherd, Basenji, or Doberman? All of those have cropped ears or docked tails, so your friends need to be imprisoned... STAT! Bull dogs can't deliver a pup w/out a C-Section. And most of the good dogs out there are from good reliable sources. Man we havin fun cookin out and fuckin off!


German shepherds have neither docked tails nor cropped ears.


you shouldn't have concerns about the judge shutting down her business because what dog owner in their right minds would trust her to groom their dog after this? she put herself out of business. People CHOOSE to pierce themselves, these kittens didn't have a choice. They also don't have the self contrtol to know when they risk hurting themselves by tearing out one of the piercings when they do what cats do, play......and I'm not that big fan of cats....and isn't it odd she didn't do it to her own pets??? obviously not or she wouldn't be allowed to keep them...