Tattoos and piercings for pets

Some people think giving their pets tattoos and piercings is cute. We see it as a form of animal abuse. Take a look at why this common form of human body decoration shouldn’t extend to our animal companions.

You know those tattoos used on pets in order to identify them in case they get lost? Even those make us a bit squeamish. Which is why we cannot fathom how anyone could think tattooing or piercing their pets for fun would be a good idea. You think your gothic kitten looks cool? What we see is a victim of animal abuse.

Thankfully, lawmakers are starting to see things from our perspective. A bill introduced by Assembly member Linda Rosenthal was passed in 2014. Rosenthal introduced the bill after hearing about kittens being sold with piercings along their spines, in their ears, and through their necks. Under the new bill, piercing and tattooing pets will be illegal unless done for medical or identification purposes by a veterinarian.

While piercing and tattooing pets may not be common, it is certainly practiced enough that it got the attention of PETA and other animal rights organizations. People who tattoo pets claim that tattoos are typically done under anesthesia. To which we reply, have you ever been tattooed? The pain lasts for days. Do you think this hurt after the anesthesia wore off? We think so. Besides, anesthesia comes with it’s own set of side effects. There’s just no justifying this scenario.

Yet some people try. They protest that if you can pierce a baby’s ear, why not your dog’s? One man even fought to keep his pet piercing and tattooing boutique open after the New York bill passed. His story did not end well. We do not condone bullying of any kind, but we can understand why people were outraged by someone wanting to continue abusing animals for the sake of vanity.

New Jersey is following in New York’s footsteps, and we’re hoping other cities and states will also take up the cause. However, the “punk/goth pet” trend is not exclusive to the United States. It’s even more popular in Russia, especially on hairless pets, and in many other countries, as well.

Your pet is not a punk rocker. Your pet is a companion animal, entrusted to your care. If you want to pierce or tattoo yourself, go right ahead. But an animal cannot consent. Most animal companions will barely tolerate wearing a winter coat when it’s cold outside; do you think they’d choose to get tattooed or pierced? As your animal’s protector, it’s up to you to decide. We hope everyone makes the right decision.

Note: We are not against tattoos or piercings for consenting adults. Quite a few of our staff at Animal Wellness are tattooed and pierced. We’re hip that way.