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Would You Ever Tattoo Your Dog?

A Brooklyn tattoo artist lost his job after posting pictures of a tattoo he did on his anesthetized dog.

Chris Torres, the owner of the tattoo shop Red Legged Devils, said “I don’t condone animal abuse … This has gone viral. It’s not good.”

The dog’s owner, an artist identified only as Alex, got outrageous responses after posting a shot on Instagram. The photo shows the dog with a shaved right shoulder emblazoned with an arrow-pierced heart wrapped in a ribbon that reads “Alex” and “Mel.”

“One of the many reasons my dog is cooler than yours!” Alex, who goes by Mistah Metro online, captioned the Instagram photo.


dog tattoo

“She had her spleen removed today and the vet let me tattoo her while she was under,” he added.

Reactions were quick and angry:



“how does a vet let u tattoo ur dog while still under anesthesia?? Pic is either edited or you’re sick & shouldn’t have a dog!” @MTLCanadiensTV.


Torres told DNAinfo New York, ”He said his dog was under anesthesia and he was going back to the vet to put a tattoo on him. He took his machine and went out the door.”

“He’s a nice kid. It obviously wasn’t well thought out,” Torres said. “He spent thousands and thousands on the dog to keep him in good health. He cared for it like an old person in an old home.”

Despite that endorsement, Torres said Alex could not come back to work due to the negative attention

“People are attacking me, but it happened at a vet,” Torres said. “Who am I to question a vet and say double check with another vet again?”


As far as I’m concerned, the guy is getting way too much backlash. The dog was already knocked out for the surgery, it’s not like she felt any additional pain. Dogs go under the knife all the time to get spayed or neutered, and that usually involves about a week of recuperation, wearing the neck cone, dealing with the stitches.

His boss might have an issue with him taking his equipment and working on an animal, but it’s not like that stuff doesn’t get sterilized in between each use.  I understand the boss just washing his hands of it, saying there’s too much negative backlash, and I get that. No one wants to have protests outside their building because one employee offended a group of people.

Also, I’ve heard of lots of dogs getting identification tattoos, usually on the inside of their ear or somewhere not very visible. I know this is different because it’s a vanity tattoo, not something to protect the dog in case she ran away, but there really isn’t much of a difference.

And on top of that all…the guy clearly cares about his dog, if he’s been putting out money to pay for her spleen surgery.  There are tons of horrible stories you hear about people abusing dogs, leaving them outside in the cold, leaving them in hot cars, forcing them to fight and more. A simple tattoo shouldn’t create such outrage.

Should he lose his job? Maybe.  Will he probably just get another one at a different tattoo shop?  If his work is good enough, probably.  Should he have the dog taken away? Absolutely not.

[Originally posted at]

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