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Piercings and tattoos…for dogs and cats?

Some people enjoy dressing up their dogs in colorful sweaters and bandanas, but others have started giving them tattoos and body piercings, and officials in New Jersey are concerned about this disturbing new trend.

Chris Weeks, Getty Images

One Garden State lawmaker is outraged by this, and has introduced a bill to make it a criminal offense punishable by fines and possible jail time.

“The legislation would prohibit anyone from tattooing or piercing animals for the sake of a fad or fun, or thinking that the animal is either a toy or a doll,” said Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia. “We want to make sure that respect is given to that living being, but also that there is no animal cruelty.”

Garcia said there have been reports that this is happening not only in other states, but also in New Jersey.

“We’ve seen some cases where you might have a Gothic type of attempt to pierce an animal with piercings in the nose or the ears,” he said. “I had a constituent who called me, regarding they saw a tattoo on a dog, basically, and it seemed like it was a logo of some sort and they were very concerned and it was disturbing.”

Garcia added he has two dogs and considers himself an animal lover, “so I will always fight for those beings that may not have a voice.”

He said it’s important in New Jersey “that we present legislation that would prohibit anyone from doing this so it would be against the law and appropriate punishment would follow, including incarceration, fines, whatever — hopefully it would deter people from doing this kind of thing.”

The legislation is modeled after a bill that will soon be signed into law in New York City.

“The bottom line message is, animals are living beings,” he said. “They’re not a toy or doll and it’s not a fad and it’s not something you should be entertaining or doing in any way, shape or form. You should not bring harm to any living being that is a pet.”

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