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Has the cat got its tongue pierced?

AN AMERICAN woman who marketed "gothic kittens", with ear, neck and tail piercings, over the Internet has been charged with animal cruelty.

Dog groomer Holly Crawford, 34, was charged this week by humane officers. Her Pennsylvania home was raided last month after the authorities received a tip from the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that she was marketing the animals online for hundreds of dollars.

Crawford said she will plead not guilty.

Crawford said on Thursday that she didn't see any difference between piercing a cat and piercing a human. She said she used sterile needles and surgical soap and that she checked the kittens several times a day to make sure they were healing properly.

"When I did it, it wasn't with any cruel intentions," said Crawford. "They were definitely loved, well-fed, no fleas, clipped nails. And they were happy."

Daphna Nachminovitch, a vice president for PETA, called the piercings "barbaric."

"There's no excuse for inflicting such pain on an animal that's the size of your palm," she said.

Crawford, who sports her own body piercings, said she decided on a whim to pierce the ears and neck of a stray kitten she took in and named Snarley Monster.

She said she docked the cat's tail because it was badly damaged and the animal was not intended for sale.


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