Many pet owners choose to tattoo their pets as a way of identification, but some do it purely as a sign of expression. According to an article in New York Daily News, dated June 19, 2014, this practice will soon be banned in New York, as state law makers have already passed a Bill stating what can and cannot be done.
Back in 2008, animal advocates were outraged at the selling of what was deemed “Gothic” kittens. These kittens allegedly had their ears, neck and tail pierced. After hearing about this, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) introduced the bill to stop these practices of tattooing and piercing animals in 2011. The Bill is sponsored by New York Senator Mark Grisanti and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign it into law later this week.
National Dog Registry
The NDR has been endorsing pet tattooing for identification purposes since 1966. The difference is that they suggest only tattooing a number on the pet and then registering it with them. The number will help have your dog returned to you in case it is lost or stolen.
According to the DNR web site, they have “supervised, directed, conducted, or overseen the tattooing of more than 6 million animals. To our knowledge, there never has been a serious skin infection as a result of this safe procedure.”
Requirements of the Bill
The Bill (S.6769) will not stop all tattoos and piercings but states: “body piercing of a pet would only be allowed for medical purposes; while animal tattoos would only be permitted if it is determined a permanent mark on the skin is needed for a medical benefit or would be used strictly for identification purposes. Violations would carry fines of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.”
Piercing and Tattooing for Pleasure
The problem seems to have come from people piercing and tattooing their pets simply for pleasure or a sales gimmick, as with the “Gothic” kittens. In 2013, Ernesto Rodriguez of N.C. came under fire for tattooing his five-month-old pit bull. He claimed that the dog had already been administered anesthesia at the vets for an ear cropping and felt no pain.
A Brooklyn tattoo artist just recently tattooed a heart on his dog’s shoulder while the dog was under anesthesia at the vet’s office. He posted the picture of his artwork on social media and was bombarded by outrage from animal lovers as well. What about the vets that are taking part in this practice of allowing it to be done after they administer the drug for other reasons?
Do people tattoo or pierce their pets while they are awake too? Anyone that has ever had a tattoo or piercing will tell you that there is some pain involved. Is it right to subject a dog to this pain for more than a set of numbers to be tattooed on them? Elaborate tattoos can take a long time to apply. How would one possibly hold a dog still that long without putting them to sleep? Is it right to administer anesthesia for this or any other “unnecessary” procedure?