It’s a growing trend — people decorating their dogs with tattoos. The specialty practice stems from an offshoot of pet care that began when dog owners sought to transform their pets into a panda or other exotic creature. Today, some dog owners are putting tats on their dogs that include everything from logos of their favorite sports teams to anchors, skulls, flames, and even “I love Mom” hearts. The designs, which cost around $100 each and last a few weeks, are typically applied to the animal’s hip or tailbone. Some dog owners have gone all out, combining tattoos with colored Mohawks.
Cruel, Potentially Injurious Practice
Pet groomers say the airbrushed designs created with a stencil and non-toxic dye are safe for animals. PETA and a growing number of animal rights advocates strongly disagree. They say branding dogs with tattoos can create stress and allergic reactions that can threaten a dog’s life. PETA also notes that pet tattoos of a sports team logo or tribal art are insensitive to a dog’s dignity. A spokesman for the ASPCA noted that tattooing an animal for the owner’s vanity and entertainment without any regard for the well-being of the animal is not something the ASPCA supports. It sharply condemned the practice for anything other than identification purposes.
Tramp Stamping Dogs May Be Illegal
To those who think it’s cute to mutilate a dog this way, they’ll soon be breaking the law. The New York state Senate recently voted unanimously to ban the practice of tramp stamping their pet. Other states are expected to follow suit. A recent article in the New York Daily News noted that Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced the animal rights bill after she discovered “gothic kittens” with tattoos and piercings for sale online. Co-sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti, the bill was designed to prevent animals from unnecessary body modification. The bill does allow dogs to be tattooed for medical or identification purposes. Hopefully, common sense will rule and tattooing animals we become illegal nationwide.