by Jess Howard
Last month an image appeared on my Facebook news feed of a heavily tattooed cat. Completely fake, of course, the image accompanied a blog post about the ethical and artistic implications of animal body art. It raised a significant issue. Is tattooing pets a sign of creativity, or cruelty, on the part of the owner?
Searching through Google, many news stories feature pet owners being vilified for inking their animals. An online petition to make the practice illegal has amassed over 180,000 signatures, and it has already been banned in the state of New York. However I was unable to find any direct statements regarding the legality of the process in the UK.
The featured blog post predominately focused on two artists — Ernesto Rodriguez, from North Carolina, and Mistah Metro, an artist from Brooklyn. Rodriguez inked his Pit bull in his basement studio, whilst Metro tattooed his pet whilst the animal was sedated having undergone surgery.