A Florida animal shelter has warned pet owners about the dangers of using human hair dye on animals, making its message known through the story of Violet the dog, whose owners allegedly applied purple dye on her fur, resulting in serious injuries.
In a Facebook post shared on Tuesday, Pinellas County Animal Services (PCAS) wrote about Violet, a 5-pound, white Maltese mix who was found in bad shape, with “obvious” burns on her skin and her eyes swollen shut. This was reportedly because her previous owners used human hair dye to give her fur a purple hue, as seen in a series of photos posted by the animal shelter. As a word of caution for those who want to view the photos in the link above, these are graphic images that some readers may find disturbing.
The PCAS did not disclose any information on Violet the dog’s previous owners, but officials told the Orlando Sentinel that she was originally found as a stray dog. After shaving off her hair to assess the damage caused by the hair dye and enduring some tense moments when Violet’s skin began to slough off, the shelter then began the three-month process of nursing Violet back to health through a variety of treatments, including painkillers, antibiotics, and IV fluids.
Despite concerns that she might have become permanently blind due to the human hair dye used on her fur, Violet was able to make a complete recovery, save for a pinkish tint on her fur, as noted by the Daily Mail.
“When the final bandages came off we breathed a collective sigh of relief – Violet was beautiful,” the Facebook post continued.
“She will always have her own individual style and that’s just fine with her new owners, who specialize in beautifying pets.”
The PCAS stressed that the main take-home thought from Violet the dog’s story is that it is dangerous to use human hair dye on pets due to the toxic chemical agents found in such products, and the possibility that pets would instinctively lick the dye, which could result in poisoning or internal burns. However, an article on the PETA website went further by saying that the treatment Violet reportedly got at the hands of her previous owners is tantamount to “abuse,” even if it turned out that the dye used on her was not toxic.
“No animal has a natural desire or need to be dyed, pierced, tattooed, or mutilated or modified in any other way to appeal to humans’ capricious aesthetic preferences…Forcing a dog to endure this kind of suffering isn’t trendy—it’s abusive.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Violet the dog was adopted by St. Petersburg resident David Anderson, who works as a dog groomer.