I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Pet tattoos and piercings are not fashion statements
Pet owners have many choices when it comes to taking care of and pampering their beloved pets. From doggie cafes and bakeries to pet massages at doggie spas and even gym memberships, it seems some pets receive the royal treatment even when their human counterparts may not. Many pets also get to wear the hottest fashions. There are endless clothing lines designed to make your dogs and cats look super hip or cute. In fact, pet fashion has become so popular that there are even pet fashion shows which feature colorful and glittering adornments, along with their accompanying accessories. Pearls for your poodle, anyone? How about chains for your bulldog?
Some pet owners have gone so far as to tattoo and pierce their pets for cosmetic purposes, as well. However, these are accessories that New York officials have banned, reported TIME on Dec. 16. Pet owners can still get their beloved pets tattooed onto their own skin, of course, but body art is not for animals. "It's simply cruel," said New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal to the Associated Press. Humans can choose to get ink, but pets have no say in the matter.
In New York, a cosmetic tattoo or piercing on your pet could land you up to 15 days in jail, as well as fines up to $250. “It’s animal abuse, pure and simple,” states Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed the law on Monday to begin taking effect in about four months time.
This ruling does not ban the kinds of tattoos and piercings that are used to identify pets in the case they are lost or in instances where medical issues need to be noted. Though a set of crossbones and roses on the backside of your pooch may add to his or her uniqueness, the New York government has ruled that tattoos for pet identification “should include only numbers and letters allotted for a tattoo identification registry.” The numbers and letters used follow a pre-approved format. That means that no area code tats in graffiti font are allowed. Your pup will have to represent in some other way. How about a hoodie?
New York isn’t the first to implement such a ruling. New Jersey “is a step closer to making the punishment for piercing a cat’s ears greater than the penalty for piercing a child’s,” reported NJ.com. In the New Jersey Assembly’s eyes, a cosmetic tattoo on an animal is just needless and cruel. It’s solely “for the entertainment and amusement of an unscrupulous pet owner,” and therefore an animal cruelty offense that is punishable by up to eighteen months in jail. If animals die as a result of a tattoo attempt, owners could earn 3-5 years in prison for what is considered a third degree crime. With these laws in place, it feels as if the New York ruling is a little lax, albeit, a step in the right direction that definitely sends a message to selfish pet owners who would even think of inflicting such pain upon their pets.
A report from four years ago told the story of a woman who was piercing the ears and necks of kittens and selling them as “gothic cats.” She was selling the poor things for hundreds of dollars online. Her work actually maimed the animals, causing disfigurement and hearing loss and could have caused death. These actions were considered so reprehensible that the Pennsylvanian woman was charged with animal cruelty. Her story also prompted legislation against such actions. While animal cruelty laws exist in all fifty states, it evidently became necessary for specific laws to be created in regards to pet tattoos and piercings. Need we say it again? This kind of accessory is not cool; it's completely and utterly cruel. Just, don’t.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com