'Goth' kitten piercing case sent to court

The Wilkes-Barre area woman who pierced the ears, tails and necks of kittens and tried to sell them as "Goth" accessories will stand trial for animal cruelty.

That's what a Luzerne County District Judge ruled yesterday. 

Dog groomer Holly Crawford was charged with six counts of animal cruelty by the SPCA of Luzerne County after the agency received a tip she was selling the maimed kittens on eBay for hundreds of dollars.

Defense attorney Demetrius Fannick said there was no violation of existing state law because there was no malice or intent to disfigure the kittens.

“She pierced their ears and their necks,” Fannick said. “She chose to pierce them because it was ‘neat,’ or to beautify them; other people buy gold collars, or dress their pets in clothes and hats and have birthday parties.”

Crawford will be arraigned in Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas on Apr. 24. Charges against Crawford’s boyfriend, William Blansett, were dropped after Crawford admitted she was the solely responsible for piercing the kittens.

One of the three kittens lost its tail and another was in the process of losing its tail because of a rubber band wrapped tightly around it.

The charges were filed after humane officers and state troopers, searched Crawford’s home on Dec. 17 and seized the kittens with ear, neck and tail piercings.

Luzerne Count Assistant District Attorney David Pedri said the kittens had been pierced multiple times. “That constitutes cruelty,” Pedri said. “It inflicted pain and caused infections.”

The district court judge, John Paul Hadzik, called the case a “gray area of the law" that needs to be decided by a trial judge or a jury.