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Photos of tattooed puppy spark Facebook backlash

Some Facebook users weren't pleased that a man tattooed his dogs. He says it's a form of identification, they say it's cruelty.


Kris Holt

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 1, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 7:53 pm CDT


A North Carolina man is under investigation after he had his dogs tattooed and shared the photos on Facebook.

Army veteran Ernesto Rodriquez told WGHP he loves his dogs as much as he loves his three kids. Both of his dogs, Duke and four-month-old Duchess, sport tattoos “just in case anything happens to them,” Rodriguez said.

The pup got the tattoo after Rodriguez took her to have her ears clipped. He insists Duchess was still asleep when he had her tattooed, and apparently had many calling him an “animal abuser” after he shared photos of the puppy’s new ink on Facebook. (The photos since seem to have disappeared.)

Animal advocate Caleb Scott was skeptical of Rodriguez’s claims, and claimed, “On his first Facebook post he said he was bored and tattooing. I think now he’s backpedaling saying he’s identifying [the dogs].”

Rodriguez, who has tattoos himself, hit back, claiming the outrage equated to “judging someone for wearing a tattoo.” He claimed he wanted “to put art on my dogs. She was already asleep, so I took advantage of that.”

Investigators in Stokes County said they were looking at the case following a complaint, but were not sure if Rodriguez had broken a law.

Tattooing is a legitimate method of identification for dogs. However, the jury’s out over whether that or microchipping is a more effective method.

Screenshots via WGHP

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*First Published: Apr 1, 2013, 2:16 pm CDT