A man tattooed his pet pit bull and is facing stark criticism from animal lovers across the nation. Ernesto Rodriguez, a North Carolina tattoo artist, posted pictures of his pet pit bull on his Facebook page, sparking outrage and controversy about animal cruelty.
Rodriguez tattooed his five-month-old pit bull on the stomach. He states that he tattooed Dutchess in the tattoo parlor that he operates in the basement of his home.
As reported by WXII 12, the design includes her name and a crest that Rodriguez states is related to her bloodline. He contends that the tattoo can be used for identification purposes, and was not cruel. Rodriguez references branding of farm animals as a comparative example. He also points out that tattooing pets is a somewhat common practice.
Indeed, petsclan.com features several pictures of tattooed pets. In addition to dogs, the website features cats, pigs, and a rat. The website mentions that small tattoos can help with pet identification However, numerous pets are being tattooed in what appears to be a fashion statement.
Tattoos are applied to humans and animals using a solid needle which injects ink under the skin. The tattoo “gun” operates at a high rate of speed piercing the skin repeatedly. As reported by Discovery, the needle pierces the “skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute.”
Tattoos can be quite painful. However, for many, the process is worth the opportunity to display artwork on their body. Many designs are custom made or symbolic to the recipient. Getting a tattoo is a very personal decision, and it should never be forced.
Critics of Rodriguez contend that his dog was not given a choice and furthermore does not have the capacity to make that choice. After posting a picture of Dutchess’s new belly tattoo, Rodriguez’s Facebook page became a virtual battle ground.
The health department has reportedly issued a cease and desist order against Rodriguez for applying tattoos in his basement as he does not have the proper zoning permits.
Rodriguez views the outrage about his choice to tattoo his pit bull as good publicity for his tattoo shop. No criminal charges have been filed as tattooing a dog is not against the law.