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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.

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I'm not sure that you understand what communism means...


You are brain dead




No, this is extreme cruelty to an innocent conscious living creature that will have to endure a less than optimal living condition for the remainder of its life.

Luis C

Even in a purely flippant use of the word, I can't possibly imagine how "Communism" comes into play here. Perhaps you should be more aware of the meaning of words before you use them. Or is that too communist a thing to ask of someone?


people pierce little baby girls ears all the time.... they cant talk. you people, YES YOU PEOPLE care more about animals than humans. How inhuman??? they are cats! uhh!

Donna W

she should of been put in prison for a lot longer that is cruel and she does not ever deserve to own a animal or even be near one ever again


So with this logic anytime we crop a Dobermans ears and tail or a boxers tail its animal cruelty. How can this be? What about removing the tails of lambs? Or shoeing horses? Hell what about riding horses? This is all for profit and someone can make the case that its cruel. I know I don;t want my ears cropped or someone to put a saddle on me and ride me. Why should an animal and we never ask them!!!!!!!!!!

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.

Kira Boyle

We have 15 cats of our (me, my mom, my mom's mom, my sister and my neice) own in my 1 bedroom apartment in Auburndale, Queens, NYC. We've pierced all of them in the same way. I don't see anything illegal or inhumane about it.