Update: The so-called “gothic kitten” case

Naturally goth.

“An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a northeastern Pennsylvania animal groomer who tried to sell kittens with pierced ears and necks and bobbed tails,” reports the Associated Press.

For those unfamiliar with the story, this is the case about the animal groomer, Holly Crawford, who was convicted on charges of animal cruelty for attempting to turn black kittens into “gothic” ones.  She pierced their ears and necks with a 14-gauge needle (the size of needle typically used for cattle), removed the kittens’ tails using rubber bands, and then advertised them as “gothic” on eBay.

Siouxsie previously voiced disgust with Ms. Crawford’s conduct and her use of the word “gothic” to describe the mutilation and pain inflicted on the kittens.  As explained earlier, there is nothing goth or “gothic” about cruelty to animals.  See also The Ultimate Goth Guide’s post last year on this case.

Ms. Crawford, who was sentenced to six months of house arrest and 15 months of probation, appealed the conviction.  Ms. Crawford argued, in part, that Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty statute was unconstitutionally vague — that a person of reasonable intelligence would not know that the statute prohibited piercing a kitten’s ears with a needle commonly used to inject cattle and/or removing kittens’ tails by using rubber bands.

The Court flat-out rejected her argument —

Much of the law against animal cruelty can be summed up in the phrase “common sense” and such is the case herein. The fact that specific acts of maiming, mutilation, torture, and disfigurement are not enumerated, a difficult task at best, does not render the statutory standard void for vagueness. Criminal laws are not “vague” simply because the conduct
prohibited is described in general language. There are an infinite number of ways in which the callously indifferent can subject animals in their care to conditions which make one cringe. It is thus impossible for the Legislature to catalog every act which violates the statute.
  Nonetheless, the terms “maim,” “mutilate,” “torture,” and “disfigure” all give fair notice of an objective standard of reasonableness in the avoidance of infliction of suffering.

The Court similarly disposed of Ms. Crawford’s argument that a person of common intelligence is in a dilemma because one would not know that piercing a kitten’s ear is prohibited conduct when piercing a child’s ear is permitted.  The Court explained the obvious — “people of common intelligence know that the ear of a human child and that of a kitten are entirely different.

A link to the opinion is here.

Source — How Appealing.

Bonus black cat photo

Awwww.

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~ by siouxsielaw on June 14, 2011.

3 Responses to “Update: The so-called “gothic kitten” case”

  1. This is horrible! This person should be put in jail for years and years!

  2. Oh humanity, and how you can still surprise me with new depths of suck-age. I can almost see the argument for a much smaller gauge ear piercing being something that someone might think is okay and not animal cruelty, but a large-gauge neck piercing!? Come on, really now.

  3. This case is sad. I am not a real animal rights activist/PETA kind of guy, but I feel really bad for the cats. I also kind of feel bad for Ms. Crawford. She deserves every bit of punishment and scorn she received. But, she really must have something wrong with her. Also, I am glad that she does not look very goth in her pics.

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