A tattoo parlor owner is receiving major backlash after he posted a pic on Facebook of a tattoo he gave his pit bull.
Ernesto Rodriguez -- also a disabled Iraq War veteran, father of three and owner of several pit bulls -- said that the dog Duchess was sedated when he tatted a crest under her belly (shown above) for identification purposes..
"I love my dogs. There's people out there saying that I'm cruel, that I hurt my dogs, that I don't love my dogs...that I should be in jail," he told WXII2 in Winston-Salem, N.C. "What do they do when they brand animals and tattoo horses on their ear and brand their cow? You’re not abusing them. You’re just protecting them so they don’t get lost."
While his FB post was meant to drive more business to his tattoo parlor "Planet Ink Tattoo" in N.C., it earned him a visit from the Stokes County Health Department which shut down his tattoo parlor because it violated local zoning laws.
Local animal control officers stopped through but found no violation.
“Here is the final results for you haters out there,” Rodriguez wrote on Facebook, “Animal control came looked at my beautiful dog and left… wow… what a waste of tax payers (sic) money… so im (sic) still gonna tattoo my dogs when ever i feel like it… good try haters thanks for all the advertisement.”
In the midst of the controversy, animal rights groups actually encourage tattooing pets for identification purposes.
On the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website, the following is posted in the section about inking pets to protect them from theft or loss.
"To make doubly sure that their animals are returned if lost or stolen, many caretakers also have their animals tattooed on their inner thigh with an identification number, such as their social security number, in their veterinarian's office or at a tattoo clinic. Unlike microchips, tattoos are visible (as long as the hair over the tattoo is thin or kept shaved or clipped short) and more noticeable to a person or animal shelter that may not have microchip scanning capabilities or knowledge of scanning technology."