In an Instagram post that has since been deleted, Mistah Metro proclaimed that "My dog is cooler than yours!" The dog had her spleen removed, the artist explained, and the vet let him tattoo her while she was under. Mistah Metro chose the classic Cupid-style heart with the names "Alex" and "Mel" (for himself and his wife).
When the photo went viral, animal lovers were predictably outraged.
Chris Torres, the owner of Red Legged Devil's tattoo shop where the artist works, claimed that the dog was not tattooed there. "[it] didn't happen at the shop, so it's none of my business," he said. "Yeah, just be glad it wasn't a Chinese symbol or chain link," he later added.
Tattooing a dog is actually not exactly a rare practice - the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) itself does it all the time, but for a very different reason, as reported by Gothamist:
The ASPCA condones the use of tattooing for only identification purposes following spay or neuter surgery. This practice helps animal welfare professionals clearly identify animals that have been altered, thereby preventing unnecessary future surgeries. This painless procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician while the animal is under anesthesia. The marks are very small and have a specific purpose, which is to avoid inflicting undue pain and stress later if that animal is unknowingly brought in for a spay surgery a second time.
Tattooing an animal for the vain sake of joy and entertainment of the owner - without any regard for the well-being of the animal - is not at all comparable to the incident in question and is not something the ASPCA supports.