Medical marijuana and safer streets may be a wash, but Albany has reacted swiftly to one particular scourge: pets with tattoos & piercings. A bill banning companion animal tattoos and piercings for any reason other than identification or medical purposes passed both houses and now awaits Governor Cuomo's signature.
“Companion animals, such as dogs and cats, will no longer be subject to the selfish whims of their owners, who place vanity above the health and safety of their animals,” the bill's sponsor, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal said. “Tattooing and piercing of companion animals serves no purpose other than to satisfy the aesthetic predilections of the owner, and inflicts unnecessary pain on the animal, pain that they cannot understand or contextualize."
Rosenthal introduced the bill in 2011 after she saw ads for "goth kittens" with pierced ears. The push to pass the bill was renewed last month when Red Legged Devil tattoo shop artist Mistah Metro posted a photo of a tattoo he gave his dog while she was under anesthesia for surgery.
Animals are routinely given small tattoos after being neutered or spayed to prevent unnecessary surgery, a practice the ASPCA supports. "Tattooing an animal for the vain sake of joy and entertainment of the owner—without any regard for the well-being of the animal...is not something the ASPCA supports," the group said in a statement.