Yow! Not Okay: A Tattoo Artist Tattoos His Dog’s Stomach

His careless act -- which he compares to branding livestock -- launches a firestorm online.


Some time ago, Ernesto Rodriguez, a tattoo artist from North Carolina, tattooed his Pit Bull when she was asleep after having her ears clipped at the vet. It’s a sort of an emblem on the dog’s stomach, relating to her bloodline. It was a crazy thing to do, but he is unrepentant. He claims that the dog felt no pain.

“I didn’t just plop her on the bed and tattoo her,” he told WXII 12. “She was already [under] anesthetic. She was asleep, completely asleep. I even used topical anesthetic, too, on the skin. So she didn’t feel anything.”

But why would he do such a thing? Today, he says for it was for identification. He compares it to branding farm animals.

“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,” Rodriguez said.

But that is backpedaling blather, according to Caleb Scott, President of N.C. Voters for Animal Welfare.

“On [Rodriguez’s] first Facebook post, he said he was ‘bored and tattooing,’” Scott told FOX8. “I think now he’s backpedaling saying he’s identifying it.”

Those early Facebook posts have been deleted. Scott also disputes Rodriguez’s version of events.

“Usually when you pick up a dog or cat from the vet, they’re already awake after a procedure. They don’t usually hand you over a dog that’s asleep,” Scott said.

The act caused a firestorm online, with many people leaving harsh comments on his Planet Ink page. Here’s some:

This is so sad. There is not a dog in the world who deserves to go through this type of cruelty. I feel terrible for any dog in your care. I wish they would take them all away and find safe, loving homes for them.

Please … do us all a favor … don’t ever have children. … I would hate to see what you would do to your children if you ever got bored with them in the house.

I hope that you rot in hell for the torture you made that dog endure.. you are a sick creature.. and a cruel human.. no better than someone who makes their dogs fight!!

Receiving a tattoo requires consent. Your dog cannot consent. Please be respectful to those who cannot consent. Be respectful to your dog.

Rodriguez is adamant that he did nothing wrong, and is angrily defending himself on Facebook.

“Animal control came looked at my beautiful dog and left…. wow… what a waste of tax payers money… so im still gonna tattoo my dogs whenever i feel like it… good try haters thanks for all the advertisement.”

The Stokes County Health Department and Animal Control department investigated, but filed no charges. He was, however, issued a cease-and-desist order for tattooing humans without a proper permit, according to the Daily Mail.

As if this story couldn’t get any worse, Rodriguez has revealed that he had also tattooed his other dog, a Pit Bull named Duke, though we don’t have photos to share.

What do you think about this sorry story? Let us know in the comments.

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