Two eight-week-old kittens had to be euthanized after police say they were declawed by their owner, Eric Gaskin of Washington, D.C. Officers from the Washington Humane Society visited Gaskin’s home in may, and found the two kittens that they believed were “victims of extreme cruelty.” According to WHS, “neither could walk and all of their toes on each paw were infected.”
Vets who treated the kittens found that their claws had been forcibly removed, and ”most of the bones in each foot were crushed, including each of the kittens’ four legs.” In a statement issued Monday, Dr. Megan McAndrew, Medical Director of WHS said, ”Declawing, even when done by experienced surgeons, can often be the source of chronic pain. These kittens literally had their toes cut off without any sort of pain control…This type of nerve damage would cause excruciating pain that would have been difficult to manage even with very strong pain medications. Furthermore, the probability of success, even with heroic efforts, would have been slim to none due to the high potential for infection and continued severe pain and suffering.”
Gaskin is charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty. If convicted, he could go to jail for five years and pay a fine of $25,000.
The Washington Humane Society has set up a page in memory of the kittens, and has so far raised over $500 in a fundraiser called the Intolerable Cruelty to Kittens Memorial. On the page, WHS states, “The Washington Humane Society finds this horrific act intolerable and will fight for justice to be served to the fullest extent of the law. ”