Ban Piercing and Tattooing of Animals

Pitbull Puppy

Target: New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal

Goal: Pass a law that would make piercing or tattooing an animal a crime

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has introduced a new law that would make piercing or tattooing animals a crime in New York City. These acts fall under the city’s animal cruelty statutes but are not explicitly illegal as the law is currently written. Rosenthal is pushing for support of the bill she introduced back in 2011, and again in 2013, and a recent controversy involving a dog tattooed by his owner is helping her bill to gain momentum. If passed, this law would help set a precedent and possibly prompt other cities around the U.S. to enact similar measures.

The bill was originally put forward in 2011, when Rosenthal learned of a woman selling “goth kittens.” The young cats had been pierced on the face, neck and down the length of their spine. Rosenthal introduced the bill again in 2013, but it continued to receive little support. The law would exempt farm branding and micro-chipping of animals, but piercings and all other tattoos would be illegal.

Alexander Avgerakis, a Brooklyn tattoo artist who goes by the name Mistah Metro, recently inked his pit bull and posted photos of the procedure on a social media website. The vet who had the dog under anesthesia to remove his spleen did not object to the tattoo job. The story went viral when the photo appeared on Instagram, showing the dog receiving a tattoo of an arrow heart on his right shoulder. When Metro was forced to remove the photo, he created a new account and posted it again. Many outraged people contacted the parlor at which he worked, to the point that he resigned from the company. This story has sparked renewed life into Rosenthal’s bill and grassroots support is needed to ensure the law is passed.

Urge Assemblywoman Rosenthal to keep up the fight that she began three years ago. Help protect cats, dogs, and other animals from enduring painful cosmetic procedures which offer no health benefits. If New York City passes such a law, other cities around the nation may do the same.


Dear Assemblywoman Rosenthal,

Thank you for your continued effort to pass a law that would make piercing and tattooing an animal illegal in New York. I applaud your persistence and believe that a grassroots effort will ensure that the bill will be written into law in the future.

I recently learned about the tattoo artist who permanently marked his dog for entertainment, and I am disgusted by his actions. I am also disturbed to realize that this sort of activity is not already against the law.

I was appalled to discover why you originally introduced the bill back in 2011. “Goth kittens” for sale should not be allowed to freely take place in New York, or any other city in the United States. Animals who endure painful cosmetic procedures that offer no health benefits do not have the option to refuse these traumatizing acts. Your proposed law would help ensure that cats, dogs, and other animals would not be put through painful and unnecessary procedures for the mere sake of entertainment.

I urge you to continue your efforts until the law is passed. Not only will it protect the animals of New York, but it will hopefully prompt other towns and cities across the country to adopt similar measures.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alison Groves via Flickr

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