A man who declawed two adorable kittens in his home, which led to their deaths, was sentenced in a D.C. court Friday.
Eric Felipe Gaskin was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of felony animal cruelty in September. In addition Judge Patricia Broderick ordered Gaskin to three years of supervised probation, a $100 fine to The Victim of Violent Crimes Fund (VCF), a mental health assessment, a parenting skills group, 40 hours community service, and he cannot own any pets for the duration of his probation.
Washington Humane Society (WHS) officers were contacted in May 2012 after Gaskin declawed his daughter’s two kittens, Simba and Pumba. The eight-week old kittens could not walk and most of their bones in each foot were crushed. Doctors believe the crushed bones occurred when the animals attempted to escape, according to WHS.
Emergency veterinarians could not repair the bones and rehabilitation would not have been possible, WHS said. Both kittens were humanely euthanized.
“These kittens literally had their toes cut off without any sort of pain control… 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,” WHS Medical Director Dr. Megan McAndrew said.
The WHS Humane Law Enforcement Department conveyed mixed feelings about the sentencing.
“We are pleased to have justice for Simba and Pumba, however, we are disappointed that the judge chose to disregard the prosecution’s recommendation for the maximum punishment allowable for this heinous act,” Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Programs Officer Scott Giacoppo stated.