A northeastern Pennsylvania woman convicted of animal cruelty for marketing ”gothic kittens” with ear and neck piercings has been sentenced to six months of house arrest.
Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley also ordered 35-year-old Holly Crawford of Ross Township to close her dog grooming business for more than two years.
The best thing about the eventual Chinese takeover of our idiot nation is that they might enact a program of forced sterilization.
While she might still technically be allowed to have children, I don’t know too many people who would be willing to father one with this whackjob.
Don’t get out much, eh? Sadly, I’m betting that potential dating pool is pretty deep and about the size of Lake Erie.
Three generations of imbeciles are enough! (Me welcoming our new Chinese overlords).
DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal)
WTF?! This woman should pierce her own brain with a rusty railroad spike. Maybe two.
Is that suggestion too post-goth? How about her doing the same with a rusty sword. Maybe an axe. That’s goth.
Sick, just sick.
@mistersnrub: That rings a Buck v Bell.
heh. Dog owners have been mutilating Boxers, Dobermans, and German Shepherds to name a few for decades.
I certainly don’t condone what this idiot did but people have done harmful things to pets because they can (and for money and trophies) since the beginning of time. It’s really sad she presumably had buyers.
I’m more worried about the mental health of the people who actually bought the poor kittens.
Dear Lord Almighty. Photo here. Not for the squeamish.
And the fact that she was selling the poor kittens on eBay is just the crowning touch on top of a whole heap of awful.
Hey, stop harshing on the kittehs’ right to self-expression. They should be allowed to get any piercings they choose. Who are you to criticize their lifestyle choices? What…? Not voluntary? That’s f-ed up. Ignore the first part of my comment.
@Mnemosyne: Good point, but then again, somebody turned her in.
I think it’s really twisted. What about when the kittens scratch their neck?
And for the record, I’m against people doing it to baby humans, too.
Who the hell is buying these poor things? The corollary to which is fairly obvious: Free market, bitchez!
The single most memorable thing from college was in an anthropology class where we watched footage of a tribe somewhere that was very different from the upper middle class white kids in the room. One of the girls in the class asked, “Why do do they put those things in their ears?” and without missing a beat (because he probably got it every semester) prof sez, “The same reason you do.”
Which really has nothing to do with mutilating animals, which is bad. But I’m on my first cocktail.
I just hope her dog “grooming” business stays shut down for good after the 2 years are up.
@Elisabeth. Absolutely. My dog came from a total vegan out on a farm well outside of town. Fed the dogs organic raw diet – shredded raw chicken, apples and carrots. And then cut off parts of their ears and 2/3 of their tails!!
All this news item really shows is how intolerant we are. Cut off body parts, OK. Put little holes in them like THOSE GODDAMN PUNK KIDS DOWNTOWN, and go to jail.
Have a cocktail for me; I quit drinking … and I’m at work.
(I don’t get those giant hollow round things the kids these days put in their ears. It makes an enormous hole that they’ll have to life with for the rest of their lives. Kind of like the tattoos I have.) :)
You guys have got to be kidding.
Really. I understand you love your pets, but what’s next… call for war with Korea? Elisabeth’s point is well taken… when was the last time one of you guys took a doberman’s owner to task for cropping the tail? Fuck, some dog breeds routinely have their ears CUT THE FUCK OFF all without raising people’s ire.
I mean… this is even outside what people accept in the treatment of the STUFF THEY ACTUALLY PUT INTO THEIR OWN BODIES, fer chrissakes. Beef (raised on feedlots, fed alien food, basically killed the same way that baby seals used to be), chicken (debeaked at adolescence, kept in cages for life, electrocuted) and pork (smart, kept in cages over open pools of their own shit, fed alien food), all of which are stuffed full of hormones and antibiotics, and you guys are objecting and calling out the sterilizers over someone piercing a cat’s ears?
The defence lawyer is right: you couldn’t take a human’s babies away from her for doing that.
What the fuck people?
On some sporting and working dogs, actually, docking the tails can make sense. Most of the time, though, I agree with you.
I could be wrong (I will google it later) but tail docking, ear tweaking, and cat declawing have been outlawed in the UK for a while now, I believe that a boxer with a full tail is now considered the norm for the breed. (As I said I am taking my mum’s word for it, will do a google later).
wearbear – I am with you, I CRINGE when I see a month or so old baby girl with pierced ears, I just keep thinking “who would do that to a baby?”
@Elisabeth: This was in the dark ages, before those were found in the US. I believe that may have been what the subject of the footage had, but nice confused preppy girl had dainty studs of some sort.
To a degree and for the defense of human knees and shins in some cases (only mildly joking) my attorney pal next door has a rescue full breed boxer girl called “Doodle” who has a full tail, when she sees you and comes to say hello she snuffles your hand then turns her butt to you and smacks you to death with her tail.
THere is never any excuse for ear slicing or cat declawing though. None.
Please name the people here who think it’s perfectly fine to cut off an animal’s ears or tail for no reason. There’s a reason those practices are dying out, and it’s not because people shrugged their shoulders and said, “Hey, what can you do?”
While I wholeheartedly agree with the declawing thing, my mind isn’t so set when Sam is kneading me with claws fully extended. That hurts! But I suffer in relative silence because he’s happy … and whole (except for his nuts ~ those had to go).
Polish the Guillotines
Holy crap, what a total sick fuck.
We just had four teeth extracted from a three-year-old cat because of some weird virus. That’s bad and sad enough, but willfully maiming cats (or any animal) for fun and profit is just mentally ill.
And she actually had a dog grooming business? WTF?
Some people are just broken beyond repair.
@Mnemosyne: Exactly. The UK has outlawed tail docking and ear cropping for decades, and I have been involved with the movement to educate here in the states, while cat declawing is horrible and a point of education on my cat blog, as well.
And for the love of logic, we can get indignant over a woman trying to make money from animal cruelty AND want more humane farming practices AND see the difference between an adult, or near-adult, deciding to pierce their ears, and subjecting a helpless baby to two serious stabbing pains, the subsequent itch of healing, and then the choking hazard, can’t we?
I suppose I can’t be against cat declawing as long as there is factory farming, but I just can’t get upset about factory farming as long as there are wars in the world? Or what?
Sorry about ‘Chuck’, John. But ‘Intervention’ on A&E is new. Heroin addiction. If you don’t mind lots of too-lovingly close-ups of needles in veins.
I have a cat who is totally incapable of retracting her front claws thanks to having her front legs broken by some teenagers many moons ago (on Halloween, I am sure they thought it was loads of fun). After lots of surgery (she also had a broken jaw and blood in her lungs), her legs began to heal and are now perfect except for the retracting claws thing, once Alpha kneads you, you stay kneaded until you physically remove each claw from your flesh (or whatever). Occasionally she will go after a cushion or something and it is not unusual to see her dragging the cushion around having got herself attached to it and being unable to let go. *sigh* the things we put up with for the love of our fur babies.
My first reaction was this:
But John talked me off that cliff somewhat, and I wound up with, “people are never going to agree on this stuff at a level that can be legislated rationally.”
Dogs can overcome. And as a meat eater I just have no right to complain about piercing domesticated animals, as weird and effed up as I think it is.
I grew up in a very rural environment. There, animals work and produce money. They’re a commodity. And by and large, I’m talking about very nice people.
Free the moron from house arrest!!!!
you know, i was fairly immature at the time, being a teenager, but i seem to remember the concentration of glibertarianoid whackadoodles among the show-dog breeder/handler/groomer contingent being just about equal to that of the silicon valley technofellators i encountered in later years. perhaps it was even higher, on a per capita basis. that said, what this woman was arrested, convicted, and sentenced for was the NON-STANDARDness of her mutilation practice. even avoiding the more extreme and yet still standard practices like tail cropping or whatever, people still castrate/hysterectomize(sp?), still remove dewclaws, still tattoo or implant id chips.
this was prosecution for being different, not for cruelty. i’m not in favor of this particular brand of animal cruelty, but it’s not in any way less humane than the other shit we do to Rover as a matter of course.
Me, too. Bleeding and a mild allergic reaction are my signals to find the clippers.
I would never declaw a cat, but I’m a dog guy who can’t stand a dog being leashed 100% of the time because I think dogs should run and play and explore, and that’s certainly risky given my suburban environment. Am I a dick, or not?
(About this particular thing.)
And while we are at it we could throw circumcision into the mix. Just sayin’
I have no trouble with animals working or being eaten. I have serious trouble, though, when they are mistreated although I guess the definition of “mistreated” may vary person to person. I’ll chow down on some certified humane chicken or turkey but will give a pass on factory farms. I’d starve before I eat pate made from force-fed geese (actually, I’d pass period. Yuck!). And, don’t get me started on veal.
But I wear leather shoes so I’m a bit of a hypocrit.
@Litlebritdifrnt: NOW you’ve done it!
Right. It’s arguably fair to say human beings are the only species with a thing for mutilation.
(Sign me, “Happily Mutilated.”)
General Egali Tarian Stuck
Chinese don’t want this crazy ass country
The leash thing doesn’t bother me too much given that the dog isn’t just tied to a tree and forgotten. If there’s shade, food and water, plenty of room to roam without getting caught on something dangerous, and the owners actually remember the dog that’s cool.
I have cats because I didn’t want a dog in an apartment. Now that they go outside on their leashes I’m not sure there’s much difference (except for the litter box thingy).
@Elisabeth: Pâté is yummy, and force fed isn’t really the proper way of describing it.
Two things. One, I was with you on half your list, and indifferent on the other half as you described your own personal lines.
The other thing is that when I said not on a leash I meant not on a leash, of any kind. Free to disobey, chase a car, a rabbit, a squirrel, a HUMAN! But at least a little worried about doing so, historically, and never not once (IMO) any threat to anyone, which of course means I’m accepting risk, too, going bareleashed.
RE-enact forced sterilization, John. How long has it been since you watched “Judgment at Nuremberg”?
kommrade reproductive vigor
That’s house arrest with several large feral cats and no food, yes?
it’s interesting that you bring up the foie gras thing, elisabeth. i tend to concur with anthony bourdain, because i too have seen ducks and geese crowd up to be “force” fed in gascony. it serves an evolutionary purpose for them, overeating (for migration), and they dont have a gag reflex like we do.
i’ve even relaxed my stance on veal after spending a month in france, because i have been able to observe non-factory practices, and hypothesize where they came from. if it’s approached from a traditional standpoint, i.e. a calf that’s delivered and quickly slaughtered, that’s a lot more tolerable than keeping it in the dark for weeks in order to maximize yield, to be sure. it certainly serves a purpose for the small farm other than income.
i think my point is that the practices that have given rise to the shit we have to think about these days were pretty reasonable if you’re eking a living out on your farm. it’s when they get institutionalized and industrialized that they become cruel and inhumane.
kinda like life in general.
I also have trouble with some of the surgery some folks put their pets through. I don’t think it is an act of kindness, for example, to put a pet through cancer surgery and chemo.
Yet you can ring a hog and no one bats an eye.
Admittedly, I’m not really an animal person, but the way our laws hinge on an animals cuteness is very strange.
LOL. I wouldn’t eat pate if it was a miracle drug. A bridge too far.
I like piercings but would never do this to my kittehs.
Though, while I’m all for her seeing some punitive action, I’d rather see this happen but ALSO see more puppy/kitty mills taken to task.
I’d agree if Great Danes had ever had their tails cropped, instead of their ears — the ones I knew were always getting those scrawny ‘whips’ damaged when they bashed them against furniture or caught them in doors. As it is, I’m of the opinion that it’s entirely an issue of human vanity, since an ‘undocked’ Rottweiler just looks too much like a Labrador for those who treat their dog as a macho-booster.
I actually met a Doberman with an earring, many years ago — she was a rescue with “natural” ears, and the person fostering her put a hoop through an old healed puncture near the base of one ear as a joke. Apparently the dog was thrilled by the extra attention she got when she was “dressed up”; she did prance up to introduce herself & turned her head so we could see that she was special. On the other hand, I can’t imagine a cat feeling the same way about jewelry!
@MattMinus: It’s not strange at all; one’s position on animal cruelty hinges on the ability to empathize with the other being.
I see cats and dogs thinking and loving, and so I get upset when they are treated badly. And I buy cruelty free meats when I can, to support better farming practices.
At the other end, we have people who cannot empathize with other human beings, even, unless those human beings are exactly like them.
Also, pâté and other terrines are not the same thing as foie gras.
pate is simply a way to use all the various bits remaining after all the “good stuff” has been eaten. i find it pretty tasty, myself, but it actually is based in economic necessity. you dont want to throw that stuff AWAY, do you?
(I think John Cole is being arch and provocative with the title. I’ve been wrong before..) but there he is at #17
Of the three cats I’ve had, the two that had claws never bit me viciously. That’s anecdotal. Also anecdotal: I had to sign a statement at the second kitty adoption that I would NOT DECLAW. Reasons given were that it’s cruel and painful and unnecessary, and that they’re more bitey if you do.
I just thought it was unnecessary and unnatural. Same goes for GOTH f’kn kitteh. Screw that!
But I can spell “pate” … sort of.
I’d say a lot depended on the individual animal — and the person(s) who lived with the animal, as well. I’ve known plenty of three-legged, tailless, “mutilated” dogs & cats who lived happy, full lives for many months or years after tumor removal. My husband’s beloved Flicker had a cancerous tumor and a chunk of her colon removed when she was 13, came home the next day, and spent almost two more years happily bossing the other dogs around and biting the hand that fed her (mine, usually) until she succumbed to pulmonary hypoplasia unrelated to the cancer. We don’t regret a penny of the several thousand dollars we used to “buy” those extra months with her, and neither, to the best of our understanding, did Flicker!
If it turns out that she was “vajazzling” those animals, I will fawking throw up.
It’s my theory that most regional specialities were born out of economic necessity. Bouillabaise? Obviously made from whatever the fishermen had left over after they sold their catch at the market. Many, many different regional sausages. Not so many different regional recipes for steak.
One thing I like about Gordon Ramsey is his advocating for the humane raising of animals for meat. He will basically eat anything (will routinely try it out on his kids which is even more amazing) but they recently did a bit on humane “fois gras” and on humanely raised and slaughtered veal (Janet Street Porter raised the calves), the point was that if the calves are not kept in Britain where there are very strict standards for how animals are kept they will be sent to France (or wherever) where there are not. Having been a veggie from the age of 14 til the age of 31 (when I moved to South Eastern US of A and realized being a veggie could result in starvation), I still try to search out the humanely reared meat, I will only buy free range eggs or chicken products etc., etc., (despite the fact that it costs me more).
Of course this has nothing to do with piercing a kittens ears, or slicing them off a Doberman, but you get my point I hope.
I didn’t say we should throw it away, I said I don’t want to eat it.
@Anne Laurie: Exactly. What you describe isn’t a drawn out process with little return.
I actually think it is cruel to put animals through a grueling ordeal we routinely offer humans, yet humans have the intellectual capacity to be willing to handle it for a goal, even if an unlikely one.
And humans can voice their concerns and wishes.
Well that would explain Okra then.
@Elisabeth: I have 2 mini schnauzers and was insistent that their ears were left alone. Unfortunately, there was no such luck with tails – that is done at a few days old, so the breeders never think of leaving them natural.
OT, but Big Ben’s accuser had “bruises and abrasions” that COULD have been caused by sexual contact, and there wasn’t enough DNA?
I thought you could get DNA off a cigarette butt?
I smell BS.
@WereBear: Hell, my recently diabetic dog just went blind. The ophthalmologist Pepper saw a couple of weeks ago was recommending lens replacement surgery for cataracts. There’d be a three week recovery time where she couldn’t do much of anything. Since Pepper got over her depression, and her worst hurt now is lightly bumping a wall (I guess beard and eyebrows substitute for cat whiskers) why would I put an unstabilized diabetic dog through surgery? If she weren’t adapting, my views might be different, but she can handle the outside stairs like a champ.
J. Michael Neal
I try to eat humanely raised meat, though I eat out too often to be all that good about it. However, I draw the line at restricting myself to free range clams.
Montgomery Clift was SO good in that scene. Poor sad Monty.
@TrishB: I agree. If she’s coping well (and I’ve known both cats and dogs to do so) now, it doesn’t seem necessary to put her through the immobilization that it sounds like it would require.
Just don’t move the furniture!
J. Michael Neal
Case in point: Eddie. Going on 16 months as a tripod, and his biggest problem is that he’s gaining too much weight.
Wait…this is the same blog that was chastising Aravosis for recommending shooting that Qatari diplomat that was smoking in the bathroom, right? Hyperbole is good for me, but not for thee, I guess.
You can trim their claws quite easily using human-style nail clippers. They’re a little easier to work with than the pet ones and it’s easier to tell how much you’re taking off.
I clip and lightly file my cats’ claws, and give them Whiskas moist food afterwards. They squirm a bit, but they don’t put up much of a fuss because they know they’re getting a treat afterwards, which makes them VERY happy. Took some practice, but it keeps them from rending my flesh without having to mutilate their paws in the process.
It’s well worth the trouble. When the revolution comes, they’ve promised me a desk job in the catnip mines.
A Thousand Faces
And John’s fascist GWB supporting side rears its head again. Every so often there are very clear flashes as to why he was able to support an authoritarian moron for so long. I’M left speechless by this post. Yes, let’s start the forced sterilization of people that we believe have done something wrong. This post is sooo wrong and creepy on so many levels.
i would have commented on the animal cruelty of gothic kittens, pierced kittens, which would have been great band names, were it not for the chainsaw kittens, also the piericing of babies, but i was looking for my foreskin.
and yes, its relatively mild compared to the female clitoris and other stuff removed in other cultures.
but this is bad as a cultural signifier, but as cruelty, its relatively mild.
One of my cats LOVES jewelry. She steals it and hides it in my shoes. I also have a necklace that she likes to wear. She pulls it over her head with her paws and trots around with it on, purring.
I don’t give them human food, so she won’t touch meat or cheese if it falls on the floor, but if you leave a doughnut unattended she’ll scoop out the filling with her paws and lick off all the powdered sugar coating. She’s very…special.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@A Thousand Faces:
That’s some impressive mental gymnastics their sparky, to stretch a figure of speech into charges of fascism and forced sterilization. It’s a creepy post about a creepy crime. If you want to see something really creepy, stick around and we might get another epic neti pot thread.
True, which is why we have to wait for the Chinese Overlords to arrive, at which point she won’t have any more babies to take. Yay. On the flipside, I don’t have too much hope for how the COs are going to treat kittens. Probably turn them into keychains.
So poking a hole in a kitten’s ear is unthinkable cruelty, but cutting off its nuts is just peachy?
poking a hole in a kitten’s ear — and especially neck — is offensively stupid and unnecessarily cruel. Cutting off its nuts, or actually sort of removing the insides, under anesthetic, when it’s older, is less cruel and prevents a lot of misery. But you knew that, right?
The Chinese are NOT going to be treating animals any better than this skank.
A Thousand Faces
@General Egali Tarian Stuck:
The title and Cole’s commentary speak for themselves. No mental gymnastics necessary, sparky.
I’m not in favor of piercing or against neutering per se, but when someone above mentioned forced sterilization of humans as an unspeakable horror it occurred to me that that’s exactly what we do to pets. So what principle leads us to consider piercing to be cruel but neutering to be compassionate? Is it the utilitarian belief that neutering, though cruel, will reduce the number of strays and thus the total amount of misery? Or is it that neutering is done under anaesthetic and thus isn’t painful—if piercing were done that way as well, would it be acceptable? Or is it that piercing serves no practical purpose and only functions to tickle the aesthetic sensibilities of (some) humans?
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@A Thousand Faces:
Lighten up Francis. Never heard of gallows humor. We specialize in it here.
Because animals are not rational creatures. They are driven by instinct and cannot make a decision whether or not to reproduce.
Tell you what — when your cat announces that she’s going to go on the Pill until she’s ready for kittens, then we can change our policy of spaying/neutering as a matter of course.
John O: in answer to your own question regarding letting your dog run around the neighborhood unleashed, yes, you are a dick.
funny, everyone has no problem with doing far worse to animals that arent cats and dogs. and theres a billion dollar industry behind it and fancy restaurants making it better than socially acceptable.
Not only do piercings serve no practical purpose, but they are likely to be ripped out when caught on claws, furniture, etc., resulting in further injury to the animal.
Don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a cat in heat, but if you’re not willing/able to supply access to an energetic tom (and raise the kittens that result), they can get pretty frigging miserable. Much kinder for the individual animal, and for pets overall, to spay or neuter.
Perhaps we should institute a similar policy for bishops.
A Thousand Faces
@General Egali Tarian Stuck:
If you don’t recognize the authoritarian streak in your host you haven’t been paying attention. He’s not making a joke with this post.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@A Thousand Faces:
“Authoritarian streak” This is a blog you can say about anything on and not ever get banned. One of the few of those in the blogosphere. You can even call the host a fascist. BTW.
Cole has his faults, but an “authoritarian streak” is laughable if you’ve spent any time here at all.
@A Thousand Faces:
And you know this… how?
Let me get this straight: I can raise a chicken and cut off its head or raise a pig and beat its brains in and make it into bacon, but I can’t give my kitten a piercing? I can cut off my dogs nuts (and tell me that’s not painful for several days once the anesthetic wears off) but I can’t give him an earring which might hurt for 5 minutes if I did it w/o anesthetic? If done under anesthetic (or not), why not? She was a groomer, she knew what she was doing, so why not? I don’t see the problem as long as it’s not excessive and causes continuing pain. The same for selling them on eBay. As long as they are transported in a humane fashion, it doesn’t matter how they are sold.
If what she is doing or how she is selling/transporting the animals is causing continuous pain and suffering, then yes, convict. I’d love to see this jury used against factory farmers with all the pain and suffering they cause animals.
My mother raised Australian shepherds and was a many-time champion breeder. When a litter is born, you doc the tails, b/c most are born without, but some are born with and it causes problems for that kind of work. She would also drown the runts (albino, born blind). Why? You couldn’t even give them away, and they would end up at the humane society anyway where they’d be put down.
And for you people castigating this woman, don’t you ever, ever, ever take a bite of factory farmed chicken, pork, beef, eggs, or dairy again as long as you live. Those animals in the care of humans have suffered far more than some pampered pet who gets a pinch in her ear. An animal is an animal is an animal. To treat cows and pigs differently than dogs and cats is no different than how the confederacy treated blacks and whites 200, 100, or even 50 years ago.
Wow, some people sure do get defensive about their right to mutilate animals. Because of course it’s much more humane to personally drown a puppy than to have a professional give it an overdose of anesthesia.
I have two male cats. They are both neutered. I do not regret that decision for an instant, even though my young one went absolutely batshit insane when the days got longer this year. I also have free-range chickens. We do not eat them, they are only for the eggs. I see no reason to apologize for how I treat any of them. And I’m a happy omnivore.
Yes. All of the above, really, plus more: neutering [and spaying] is not only good for the cat population as a whole, but for the individual cat, for reasons others have already pointed out, more or less.
Here’s the thing, broadly: Cats are domesticated creatures, things we bred a really long time ago to catch the mice in the granaries. And at that point we pretty much stopped because they were perfect for that. Not so much dogs, for whom this whole argument applies even more, because they were domesticated twice as long ago and bred silly ever since. Point being, we kind of created these creatures, we keep them as pets now, and we have a duty to make their lives as decent as possible given who they are and where they live. A fixed pet lives about twice as long, and is MUCH less likely to get in bloody fights, or run over, or just lost, due to its disinclination to run out and mate/fight for the right to mate.
Is it paternalistic? Well, yeah. But that’s what we are, like it or not, their parents. People may think I’m nuts or wrong or bad for letting my cats out at night, to snoop around the back courtyard. Maybe so, but it’s a risk I’m letting them take because they love it so, and they always come back before I go to bed and they have collars with my telephone number [fuck microchips with no collar, by the way]. Like with kids, there’s a risk/security trade-off. But I wouldn’t like to raise my kids like veal either.
Speaking of veal, the whole “there are worse things people do to animals than pierce them” argument, if you want to call it that: Well no shit. So what? Did I say I like factory farming? I don’t. And even if I somehow did, and I’m an inconsistent lunatic, then would that make piercing kittens ok? No, it wouldn’t. The end.
@A Thousand Faces:
And the helicopters aren’t laughing.
Just glad you don’t live in my neighborhood….
Yup, because drowning is a much more humane method of execution. Why, she is practically a saint.
And there you have it.
People dream of being reincarnated as one of my pets, though.
Emo John once again demonstrates his inability to control his mouth.