Animal cruelty can come in many forms.
For Chris Mendiola, a tattoo he found on his dog, Bear, signified just such an act of cruelty by the dog's previous owners. So in order to show solidarity with his canine companion, Mendiola decided to get a matching tattoo on his arm.
But when Mendiola posted his new tat to Facebook, things took a turn:
It turns out, the tattoo that Mendiola had assumed was an act of cruelty was actually put there to signify to veterinarians that Bear had already been neutered.
Unfortunately for Mendiola, a former classmate of his shared the whole saga on Reddit:
It wasn't long before the ridicule came rolling in...
...although some Redditors did acknowledge that Mendiola's heart was in the right place:
In a recent interview with Gizmodo, Mandiola said that he knew what the symbol meant before deciding to get it tattooed on himself.
"I definitely did my research. I actually talked to my family vet about it when I first got him," he said. "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."
But contrary to Mandiola's post, Bear's former owners most likely had nothing to do with the tattoo. According to Gizmodo, "The Association of Shelter Veterinarians' standards require vets to tattoo spayed and neutered shelter animals so that no one unnecessarily operates on the animals again."
After the unexpected backlash, Mandiola is considering covering the tattoo with one of Bear's paw print.
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