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Does your dog have a nose ring? How about your cat -- have you pierced its ears? Been thinking of a nipple ring?

Well, think again. If you live in New Jersey, your metalhead animal could get you in the ringer. Assemblymen Carmelo Garcia, Jason O’Donnell and Raj Mukherji (all D-Hudson) introduced a bill to clarify that under New Jersey law, tattooing or piercing a pet amounts to animal cruelty.

Apparently there is a trend lately of tattooing and piercing animals. It's not just in the United States. In Russia, cat owners get their felines tattooed with elaborate, colorful designs.

A bill in New York prohibiting pet tattooing passed the state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to ink it. Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced the measure in 2011 after noticing "gothic kittens" with tattoos and piercings for sale online.

Farm animals can still get "Got Milk?" as a tattoo as well as sheep and goats because they sometimes get branded or marked for identification.

In March, the ASPCA said in a statement that it condones the use of small tattoos on animals that are used exclusively to mark them as having been spayed or neutered. The New Jersey bill does not have an exception for those types of tattoos.

No word yet on gold teeth.


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