New York says no to pet tattoos and piercing

In 2003, DogTime reported on a North Carolina man who was under investigation for tattooing his dog; N.Y. Gov. Cuomo signed a bill that makes the practice illegal in the Empire State. (Photo Credit: CNN)

On Monday, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill prohibiting pet tattooing. This soon-to-be law was endorsed by the Humane Society of New York and other animal rights groups. Violators could face a $250 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

The law also prohibits body-piercing a pet.

Cuomo tells CBS New York News, “This is animal abuse, pure and simple. I’m proud to sign this common sense legislation and end these cruel and unacceptable practices in New York once and for all.”

Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), introduced the bill a couple of years ago after noticing pets online with tattoos for sale. The bill gained bipartisan support. Rosenthal tells NPR, “Companion animals will no longer be subject to the selfish whims of their owners.”

For those who still want “cattoos,” which according to tattoo artist Betty Rose, “are all the rage,” people can get “cattoos” of their cats. Rose, who works at Eight of Swords parlor in Brooklyn, said she gets many requests from clients who bring in photos of their cats. She does several “cattoos” a week on her human clients.

Rose tells the New York Daily News, “People used to get wildcats all the time. But it’s a sea of domestic cats now. People are more okay with sharing the fact that they have cats and love them.”

Most of the tattoos that were done on cats and dogs, showed tattoo art — not identification. Before microchips were introduced, some of pet owners had their veterinarians tattoo IDs on their pets, which was used in case a pet got lost. This practice had a number of problems because a majority of veterinarians don’t do it, a pet’s hair can grow over the tattoo, and people who would find a lost cat or dog didn’t know to look for it.

Sources:NPR, New York Daily News, CBS New York News

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