'Goth Kitties' Seller Convicted

Jury finds cat piercer guilty of animal cruelty
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2010 4:57 PM CST

(Newser) – A Pennsylvania woman was convicted of animal cruelty for giving kittens human-style body piercings and selling them on eBay as "Goth Kitties." Holly Crawford had pleaded not guilty to the charges; her legal team had argued that since parents take their kids to get their ears pierced, pierced cats shouldn't be considered a big deal. "It wasn’t with any cruel intentions," Crawford had said in her defense. "They were definitely loved, well-fed, no fleas, clipped nails. And they were happy.”

But the jury agreed with the prosecution's assessment that the piercings—which were made with a 14-gauge needle, the size typically used to pierce cattle's skin—put the cats at risk for deadly infections and other health problems. The ear piercings Crawford performed could permanently damage the cats' hearing, while the tail and back piercings hinder their ability to balance and jump, Discover reports. She'll be sentenced March 31.

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