Judges rule piercing kittens is animal cruelty. No kidding

The Globe and Mail

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A Pennsylvania woman who pierced kittens in order to make them appear "goth" before selling them online was cruel to the animals, according to three judges.

The woman, Holly Crawford, advertised the cats for sale for $100 on eBay. The cats had barbell earrings, piercings through the ears and necks and tails and at least one kitten had an elastic band tied around its tail so that it would eventually fall off, according to the judges' decision outlined by the New York Times and the Allentown Morning Call.

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Ms. Crawford, a dog groomer, came under investigation in 2008 after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, acting on a tip, posed as an interested customer and saw the way Ms. Crawford was treating the animals. According to PETA, one of the kittens had ripped out a piercing and Ms. Crawford was waiting for it to heal before piercing it again.

Ms. Crawford was found guilty of animal cruelty and sentenced to six months of house arrest and electronic monitoring.

She appealed the finding, saying there is no law specifically prohibiting animal piercings.

While that may be true, the three judges who presided over the case determined her actions were cruel.

One of the judges wrote in the 19-page opinion: "Appellant's claims center on her premise that a person of normal intelligence would not know whether piercing a kitten's ears or banding its tail is maiming, mutilating, torturing or disfiguring an animal. We disagree."

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