When Brooklyn-based tattoo artist, Mistah Metro posted a photo of his brown and white dog emblazoned with a brand new tattoo – not an inconspicuous identifying tattoo or the small green or blue line used by some veterinarians to indicate the dog is spayed, but a decorative heart with an arrow through it and a banner with the names Alex and Mel – the image sparked outrage among both dog lovers and the tattoo community.
“One of the many reasons my dog is cooler than yours! She had her spleen removed today and the vet let me tattoo her while she was under,” Mistah Metro boasted on Instagram along with a photo of his dog, still asleep and recovering from her surgery, with the brand new tattoo displayed on her freshly-shaven right shoulder.
The image quickly turned viral, sparking such backlash that Mistah Metro was forced to close his Instagram account. But, just two hours after closing his account, the photo reappeared on Instagram under a new user account with the name “mistahmetro7.”
“Had to delete my account and make up another, some people just don’t appreciate anything! It’s an ANIMAL with a tattoo,” the new post read.
The new account, presumably owned by the artist, was also closed shortly after posting as a result of backlash.
Mistah Metro is an artist at the Red Legged Devil, a tattoo parlor in Brooklyn. The shop’s owner, Chris Torres defended his employee’s actions, Tweeting, “you guys are aware that the ASPCA tattoos dogs & cats once they’ve spayed or neutered them, right?”
According to The Gothamist, the ASPCA’s position on tattooing is as follows:
The ASPCA condones the use of tattooing for only identification purposes following spay or neuter surgery. This practice helps animal welfare professionals clearly identify animals that have been altered, thereby preventing unnecessary future surgeries. This painless procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician while the animal is under anesthesia. The marks are very small and have a specific purpose, which is to avoid inflicting undue pain and stress later if that animal is unknowingly brought in for a spay surgery a second time.
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 at all comparable to the incident in question and is not something the ASPCA supports.
On Wednesday, Mistah Metro issued an apology on his Tumblr page, which has also since been removed. Chris Torres continues to assert that the dog was not tattooed at his shop and that he and Red Legged Devil had nothing to do with the incident.
We view this incident as a clear case of animal abuse involving two licensed professionals – the tattoo artist that did this to his own dog, and the veterinarian that hosted the tattoo session in his surgery center – what’s your opinion?