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Kittens euthanized after being declawed at home

Monday - 9/17/2012, 8:03am  ET

kitten.jpg
This cat had to be put down after an infection due to at-home declawing gave 'Gamma' a poor chance of survival. (Courtesy Washington Humane Society)

WASHINGTON - Two small kittens had to be euthanized after someone tried to declaw them without any pain medication. Now a District man is charged with felony animal cruelty.

It's among the worst cases of animal cruelty Scott Giaccoppo says he's ever seen. "This was not a surgical procedure done by a veterinarian under anesthesia. This was a horrible, horrible act," says Giaccoppo with Washington Humane Society.

Giaccoppo says Eric Gaskins allegedly declawed the kittens, and in doing so, broke all the bones in their feet. As a likely result of their struggles, each kitten had four broken legs. After an initial assessment by a veterinarian, it was determined the cats would have to be euthanized.

"The wounds had become infected…the chance of survival would have been slim," Giaccoppo says.

Because the case remains under investigation, Giaccoppo says he can't offer details on how the Washington Humane Society learned about the situation. WSH has set up a special memorial fund, "So that we can keep investigating cases like this and provide medical care to animals in need. It bothers us that we weren't able to save these kittens after what they'd been through" he says.

You can find more information on the fund at the Washington Humane Society's page.

To report animal cruelty, you can call 202-BE-HUMANE

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)