Pennsylvania — A woman who marketed “gothic kittens” with ear, neck and tail piercings over the Internet has been charged with animal cruelty and conspiracy.
Dog groomer Holly Crawford, 34, was charged Tuesday by humane officers. Her home outside Wilkes-Barre was raided Dec. 17 after the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County received a tip from PETA that she was marketing the animals online for hundreds of dollars.
Crawford has said she will plead not guilty.
Crawford told The Associated Press on Thursday that she didn’t see any difference between piercing a cat and piercing a human. She said she used sterile needles and surgical soap and that she checked the kittens several times a day to make sure they were healing properly.
“When I did it, it wasn’t with any cruel intentions,” said Crawford, of rural Ross Township. “They were definitely loved, well-fed, no fleas, clipped nails. And they were happy.”
SPCA Officer Carol Morrison said the kittens had 14-gauge piercings through their ears and submission rings at the napes of their necks. One kitten’s tail was docked.