Short Leash: Assemblywoman Pushes to Make Animal Tats and Piercings Illegal

Because apparently it isn't already.

Mistah Metro and what appears to be a human client.

Mistah Metro and what appears to be a human client. (Twitter)

File this one under things that shouldn’t need to happen, but are happening.

Following a controversial Tweet by tattoo artist “Mistah Metro” showing his pitbull’s brand new ink, assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to tattoo or pierce your pets.

Now, the act is technically legal. New York animal cruelty law states: “A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose…he or she causes serious physical injury to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty.” Because there is no explicit mention of tattoos or piercings, and because it is unclear of whether a tattoo looking epic can be considered “justifiable purpose,” the act is allowed.

“It seems crazy to us that it isn’t already illegal,” Lauren Schuster, a spokesperson for Ms. Rosenthal, told Capital New York.

The pitbull, named Zion, was given a heart-shaped tat while sedated for spleen surgery. Despite the sedation, Ms. Rosenthal cited the willingness of an animal as her motivation for pushing the bill.

“If a person is weighing whether to get a tattoo, they will consider the amount of pain the procedure will cause both during and afterward against the benefits that they will receive from it,” she said in a release.

“As we all know, animals do not have the capacity to make these decisions, nor can they contextualize that the pain they feel might result in what some might consider beautiful body art; sadly, all they know is the pain.”

Which, ironically, sounds like something someone would tattoo on a dog.

Back in 2011, a similar version of the bill was introduced as a reaction a woman selling “gothic kittens,” complete with ear piercings. Ms. Schuster noted that 2014’s version of the bill “hasn’t really gained any traction.”

If you are still concerned over Zion’s well-being, here is a video of him leaving the vet, looking dapper in a jacket and cone.