The Washington Humane Society euthanized two kittens that were victims of home de-clawing in May.
On Monday, Eric Gaskin was arrested in D.C. on two felony counts of animal cruelty in connection to the incidents.
“In my 20-plus year career in animal welfare, this stands out as one of the worst cases of animal torture,” Washington Humane Society Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Programs Officer Scott Giacoppo said.
When Humane Society officers found the 8-week-old kittens, their paws were infected and neither could walk. Surgeons at an animal hospital found their claws had been ripped from their feet and most of the bones in each foot were crushed, which doctors believe occurred when the kittens tried to escape.
The bones could not be repaired, so the kittens were euthanized.
“De-clawing, even when done by experienced surgeons, can often be the source of chronic pain,” Washington Humane Society Medical Director Dr. Megan McAndrew said. “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 faces up to five years in jail and a $25,000 fine if convicted.