Kitten-piercing woman guilty of cruelty

WILKES BARRE, Pa., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania woman was found guilty of one animal cruelty charge in a headline-grabbing cat-piercing case, but innocent of two other animal cruelty counts.

John Pike, attorney for Holly Crawford, told jurors his client didn't pierce the kittens maliciously or illegally, the (Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader reported Thursday.


"Just because it's unusual, doesn't mean it's a crime," Pike said during his closing argument Wednesday. "She really loves animals and is upset because in her heart she considers herself a true animal lover."

Crawford was charged state police searched her home Dec. 17, 2008, seizing three kittens with piercings on their ears, necks and tails. At least one kitten had a ring on its tail used to cut off blood flow, causing the tail to fall off eventually.

In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney David Pedri said Crawford not only pierced and docked the tails of the kittens, but the 3-month-old animals weren't given proper veterinary care.

Pedri said he will seek a mandatory prison sentence of 12 to 18 months.

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