Pet Tattoos and Piercings Will Soon be Illegal in NY

Dog owner inks up pet

Is it animal abuse to give your dog a “bad ass tat”? New York lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo think it is, which is why yesterday the governor signed into law a bill banning pet tattoos and piercings in the state.

The controversy over pet tattoos exploded in New York earlier this year when Brooklyn tattoo artist Mistah Metro posted a photo of his tatted up dog on Instagram (close up of tattoo shown above; see here for full photo of the dog looking not too pleased). After a huge backlash from the Instasphere (is that a thing?), he took down the photo, but the incident apparently got the state legislature to act on the issue.

The law takes effect in April of 2015, and it will make New York only the second state in the country (after Pennsylvania) to ban such pet body modifications. Violation of the law involves up to 15 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $250. However, the law makes exceptions for medical procedures performed by a veterinarian, or for tattooing an identification number on the pet in connection with an official animal tattoo identification registry.

New York state legislator Linda B. Rosenthal, who introduced the bill back in 2011, was very pleased that the bill was finally passed and signed into law. Not holding back one bit, she had this to say about people who tattoo or pierce their pets:

While people can decide whether they would like to undergo the pain associated with a tattoo or piercing, animals do not have that luxury. Subjecting animals to painful cosmetic procedures, such as tattooing and piercing, merely to satisfy an individual’s misguided and selfish aesthetic predilections, is inhumane and should be considered cruelty by the law.

Hard to argue with that.

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