New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign legislation that would make it illegal to tattoo or pierce one’s pet in the state.

Tattooing And Piercing Pets Illegal In NY

The bill was first introduced by assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal in 2011, and received a boost of support after a photo of a Brooklyn tattoo artist tattooing his dog went viral. “Humans should not apply their own fashion sense in permanent harm and injury to their animals,” Rosenthal said.

Tattoo artist Mistah Metro posted the photo on Instagram in March of 2014. In the picture, a brown and white dog is seen getting a heart-shaped tattoo on its leg, with “Alex and Mel” written inside. “One of the many reasons my dog is cooler than your[s]! She had her spleen removed today, and the vet let me tattoo her while she was under,” Mistah Metro wrote.

The reaction to the photograph was angry, to say the least, and the ASPCA released a statement criticizing the photo, saying, “The tattooing of an animal for the selfish joy and entertainment of its owner, without any regard for the well-being of the animal, is not something the ASPCA supports,” said an ASPCA spokeswoman.

Under the new legislation, which will be in effect in 120 days, people who tattoo or pierce their pets could face up to 15 days in jail or a $250 fine.

“This is animal abuse, pure and simple. I’m proud to sign this common sense legislation and end these cruel and unacceptable practices in New York once and for all,” Governor Cuomo said.

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