Man Gets Tattoo To Honor Adopted Dog, Has No Idea What It Really Means Until It's Too Late
FaithTap Staff 10/4/2017
Sometimes a person may have the best intentions in the world, but they'll still be ridiculed for their efforts. When Chris Mendiola got a tattoo to honor his adopted rescue doggy Bear, he was super excited to show it off on social media. However, instead of being praised, Chris received a lot of backlash and laughter, and was also chastised for not knowing what the tattoo symbol actually meant.
With permanent ink, once your skin has been marked - the only way to get rid of it is with painful lasers, which can leave behind ugly scars. But, instead of getting downtrodden over his "mistake," Chris is now using his tattoo as an opportunity to educate others about animal cruelty.
When Chris adopted his adorable pup from the animal shelter about six years ago, he noticed a small black tattoo etched onto Bear's belly. It's the type of branding mark you might see on a farm animal, like a cow or pig. Chris was absolutely outraged that anyone would do that to their pet pal, and decided to get a matching tattoo in a show of solidarity. On his Facebook page, Chris told his friends:
"For those of you who know bear know that he has a tattoo given to him from some previous owners. It sickens me to know that people actually tattoo their pets. So tonight I got this tattoo."
An old classmate grabbed a screenshot of the picture and posted it on Reddit, so that everyone else could poke fun at Chris. The photo went viral, but unfortunately it spread across the Internet for all the wrong reasons.
Chris was actually prepared for the haters and trolls to come out of the woodwork. The tattoo, which is a a crossed-out circle with an arrow, indicates that the dog has been neutered. So naturally, people started giggling at the thought of a man blatantly displaying a "I've been fixed" symbol on his arm. Chris told Gizmodo:
"I knew I was going to get a lot of backlash from it. I did. I got some from my coworkers. I got some from people I thought were my close friends. It's not for them. It wasn't for them. It wasn't to humor or please them. It's for my dog."
One of the reasons Chris decided to get inked was to show Bear that they're now two peas in a pod! They both experienced the same medical issue, a torn ACL, and Chris says the tattoo makes him feel that much closer to his pooch. He wouldn't be the first person in the world to get matching symbols as a way of bonding - Marines and other "band of brothers" have been doing it for ages!
However, Chris still stands behind his tattoo, despite its meaning.
"I don't think that people should crop ears. I don't think that people should cut tails off their pets. If they're going to be a member of your family, you should treat them as such. I don't see tattooing your dog as something that you should do... My vet would never just say, ‘Hey, willy-nilly, I'm going to tattoo your dog.' It's not going to happen."
Thankfully, Chris is man enough to ignore all the immature snickering and whispering. He believes that dog tattoos are just another way for cruel folks to lash out against innocent animals, and is now using the spotlight to raise money for a local animal shelter that doesn't put pets to sleep.
But what Chris may not have known is that Bear's tattoo was likely not put there by the previous owner. According to the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, vets will tattoo shelter animals as a way of indicating they've already been spayed or neutered. This helps the poor animal avoid any unnecessary surgery.
Watch this video to find out more about this doggy tattoo tale!