Goth Cats: Woman Convicted of Animal Cruelty for Piercings

There is an interesting case out of Pennsylvania where a dog groomer has been convicted of animal cruelty for ear and neck piercings. It is the defense of Holly Crawford that makes the case particularly notable.

Crawford, 35, was marketing “gothic kittens” on the Internet with ear and neck piercings. She was acquitted on two separate counts. Before she was convicted of one misdemeanor count and one summary count of animal cruelty, her lawyer argued that parents allow children to get piercings, so why should kittens have a higher level of protection?

What do you think of this defense?

For the story, click here and here.

27 thoughts on “Goth Cats: Woman Convicted of Animal Cruelty for Piercings”

  1. Elaine,

    The ear cropping? Not always just for aesthetics. In some breeds it really helps reduce ear infections. Tail-bobbing is another matter. Pure human stupidity that.

    De-clawing a cat? Not a great thing either, but claw caps are a fairly recent invention. I can say that I’ve never approved of the full declaw though. All of my kitties have their rear claws. I have some issue with front de-clawing, but only slightly more than getting tom cats fixed to keep them from spraying. Cats au natural would be a perfect pet if we all lived in barns and caves, but bringing them into modern homes is problematic. When we as a species do that kind of modification to an animal I simply see it as creating a duty to protect said animal. But then again, I love my pets and would protect them armed or not. Some people aren’t as nice about their pets, seeing them only as chattel and not as living beings. Therein lies the rub.

  2. I have long questioned the ethics of parents piercing their infants’ and young children’s ears.

    Disclosure: I did, however, pierce my Belted Galloway bulls’ noses; it’s easier to control them that way.

  3. Actually, to quote my 14 year old son ( who walked into the room and saw the above ” Goth ” cat picture ) ” that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life!!!”

  4. Just proof that some people have far too much time & money on their hands! Animaly cruelty? Really, when I think of some of the body parts that some people voluntarily pierce these days this seems mild! Very stupid, but certainly not animal cruelty.

  5. But… peircing kitten ears is WEIRD. Okay? Sure its not more cruel than amputating puppy tails, but it is WEIRDER and that’s what matters.

  6. Humanity has an extensive history of modifying animals to suit our own purposes, or our whims. I don’t think it is any more cruel than a dog breed, like a pug, that has been bred so heavily for the smashed in face look that it can barely breathe anymore. Or breeding dalmatians that are deaf. Or shepherds with hip displaysia. Or the other myriad of genetic problems purebreds often have. It’s also no different than tail docking, debarking, teeth filing, declawing, branding, tattooing, ear tagging, and a hundred other things we do to animals because we feel the urge to. At what point does something simply become hypocrisy?

  7. While piercing cats is clearly “problematic” and probably shouldn’t be allowed, as long as tail and ear docking are permitted on dogs, it’s tough to say that one is fine and the other is a crime.

    On one hand, a lot of veterinarians decline/refuse to do tail and ear docking, I’ve stood in the room with a veterinarian who was my client, while he docked doberman puppy tails. I’ll spare everyone the details, but in terms of the procedure itself, it’s certainly more “involved” than ear piercing. At least to my non-veterinarian perception, the puppies didn’t seem at all traumatized by the process. That’s not to say it wasn’t a bit tough to stay composed and continue our discussion through it.

  8. >parents allow child to get piercings, so why should kittens have a higher level of protection?

    I Am Not A Lawyer, but I imagine the difference could be summed up in one word: “consent”.

  9. The worst part was when a group of popular jock kittens beat up the goth kittens.

    Kittens can be so cruel.

  10. i was underwhelmed too until i looked at the dailymail article:

    “Metal protrudes from their little bodies, pierced through their ears and necks with a 14-gauge needle – usually reserved for the thick skin of cattle.

    And at least one of these ‘maimed and disfigured’ kittens also had an elastic band tied around its tail – an attempt to stem the blood flow so that the tail eventually falls off.”

  11. I continue to be amazed that people (is it just Americans?) show more concern and outrage for animal stories than children stories. Occasionally you will see attention paid about a missing white girl in Florida, but in general, stories about child abuse, rape, poverty, hunger, go with minimal notice.
    Babies and toddlers with pierced ears are everywhere. Maybe a line needs to be drawn, but this ain’t it.

  12. I agree Duh!

    I think people who dress their dogs in “outfits” should be arrested for animal cruelty as well!
    I hate seeing those stupid outfit for sale everywhere!

    The cat looks stupid with earrings and a neck piercing as well. Heck people with neck piercings look stupid!

  13. They brand and tag live stock, before they raise them to be slaughtered and eaten.

  14. I don’t get it, but I’m not sure I would consider it to be any more cruel than dressing a pet in a costume.

    We pierce many animals. Are those piercings not just as cruel? I think a lot would depend on how the kitten reacted to the piercings.

    Why is it not cruel to crop a dog’s tail?

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