A Brooklyn, N.Y. tattoo artist got major flack from animal lovers when he posted a picture of his sedated dog with a heart tattoo inked to her shaved shoulder.
Gothamist reposted the photo of the dog, the work of Prospect Heights tattoo artist “Mistah Metro,” who works in the "NY Ink"-featured shop Red Legged Devil.
“One of the many reasons my dog is cooler than your[s]!” Mistah Metro posted on Instagram with the photo of the strung-out dog with a fresh tat. “She had her spleen removed today and the vet let me tattoo her while she was under.”
The post immediately caught fire, provoking angry social media posts from disgusted animal lovers.
“That is disgusting. how could you do that to a poor dog?” posted Twitter user @JordanBurmeis.
“Unfortunate the dog can’t talk. He’d have a few choice words!” wrote @arodomus.
The ASPCA also contributed its viewpoint.
“The tattooing of an animal for the selfish joy and entertainment of its owner, without any regard for the well-being of the animal, is not something the ASPCA supports,” a spokeswoman for the organization said.
Chris Torres, the owner of Red Legged Devil, maintained that “nothing happened at the shop” and asked critics to leave him be.
But he also tweeted, “You guys are aware that the ASPCA tattoos dogs & cats once they’ve spayed or neutered them, right?”
The American Veterinary Medical Association said that there’s a difference between tattooing an animal out of necessity and for aesthetic pleasure.
"We can't say a tattoo is going to do enormous damage to an animal,” said Emily Patterson-Kane, an animal welfare scientist at the organization, "but we do look at whether a procedure is therapeutically necessary first — if it's not, that's not the vet's goal."
Friends of the tattoo artist stand by him, even if tattooing his pet was, at best, a lapse in judgment.
“Metro is a very cool, nice, mellow, laid-back guy,” a friend of Metro, Jack Rodado, told the New York Post. “I don’t think he tried to hurt the dog on purpose. But tattooing a dog? That’s kind of a bad call.”