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Pet Tattoos Put in the Doghouse

New York state lawmakers have recently passed a bill that no sane person would have ever imagined necessary; it will soon be illegal to tattoo or pierce pets. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law in the next couple of days, according to the New York Daily News.

There had never previously been a law regarding body modifications for pets because it had been assumed that pet owners would never think to tattoo or pierce their pets. In March, Mistah Metro, a tattoo artist from Brooklyn, created headlines by tattooing his dog and posting pictures on the internet. The tattoo was done while the dog was under anesthesia—given to the dog for spleen surgery not for the purposes of tattooing it—so the dog was not put through the painful process of getting a tattoo. That being said, everyone who has had a tattoo knows that the sensation does not end immediately once the tattoo is finished and many have argued that putting the dog through that ordeal constitutes abuse. Another argument against the idea of tattooing a pet is that there is no way that an animal will understand the care that needs to be taken in order to prevent infection in the days following receiving a tattoo. It seems cruel to put an animal in a situation with such a high probability of infection.

New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal introduced the bill three years ago after hearing about a person who was selling “gothic kittens” with piercings in their necks and spines. The highly publicized tattooing of the dog brought the subject back to the limelight.

“Once this bill becomes law, companion animals will no longer be subject to the selfish whims of their owners, who place vanity about the health and safety of their companion animals,” Rosenthal said in a statement. “I am pleased that my colleagues recognize the importance of this legislations, and voted unanimously to pass it.”

Remember, regardless of whether or not it is legal to ink your pet where you live, your pet is unable to make the choice to get tattooed on its own. You wouldn't want a tattoo that was given without your consent, treat your pet with the same respect.