Giving a cat piercings to make it look like a "goth" cat is animal cruelty, at least according to the court in Pennsylvania.
Holly Crawford is a dog groomer who thought she would try to make her cats look more "gothic" by giving them piercings, reports The New York Times.
The piercings were on a variety of the kittens' bodies, including piercings through the cat's ears and the scruffs of their necks. Crawford even had tied elastic around the cat's tail, in order to "dock" the tail, essentially stopping the blood flow to the tail so that the tail would fall off eventually, reports The New York Times.
Crawford then listed the kittens on eBay for $100. PETA and the local ASPCA received news of the pierced kittens. Crawford was convicted of animal cruelty by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Her sentence was just now affirmed.
During the court hearing, Crawford had admitted to administering the piercings without anesthetic though she said she treated the wounds with antiseptic to prevent infection, reports The New York Times. She also cited other practices like declawing cats or debarking dogs, which are legal and performed by veterinarians. Her argument was that these surgeries are essentially the same as the piercings she had performed.
Crawford was arguing that the statute was too vague, and therefore unconstitutional. If a statute is so vague that an ordinary person is unable to figure out if their actions or illegal or not, the statute would be void for vagueness.
Unfortunately for Crawford, and fortunately for animal lovers everywhere, the court disagreed with Crawford's analysis. Crawford's premise that a person of normal and reasonable intelligence would not know that piercing a kitten or banding its tail would be "maiming, mutilating, torturing, or disfiguring an animal" was rejected. The court said that the law regarding animal cruelty can be summed up in the phrase "common sense," like in this current case, reports the ABA Journal.
So cat piercings for "goth" cats is animal cruelty. Though, most wouldn't have needed a court decision to know that.
- Piercing Kittens for 'Goth' Look Is Animal Cruelty, Pa. Appeals Court Says (ABA Journal)
- Woman Mails Puppy, Charged with Animal Cruelty (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Couple Convicted of Animal Cruelty (FindLaw's Common Law)