A US dog owner, who dyed his puppy red and yellow in a homage to the popular Pokemon character, Pikachu, has been fined after he received enormous backlash.
Video footage of the animal went viral after the owner, Erik Torres, proudly showed off his multicoloured pet at a Miami Heat basketball game.
The dog, named Zaza, caught the attention of a commentator, who concluded: "I don't think that dog signed off on that paint job."
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While the animal lover was merely attempting to have a joke, many have pointed out that his antics could have caused distress to his pet. Subsequently, Miami-Dade County Ordinance 5-12 A have fined him $200 (around £165).
The law states that it's illegal to be in possession of any dyed or artificially coloured animal.
In response to the public response, he revealed that he didn't dye the dog himself, but instead sent the pet to California to surprise his daughter, who loves Pokemon.
He claimed that he underwent intense research before allowing the hair dyeing to take place and was completely unaware that he had done anything illegal.
As per The Daily Mail, he said: "I did my research, and I knew that in no way or form would this affect my animal, my dog."
Torres, who owns the 'World Famous Puppies' pet store, in Doral, Florida, has had previous issues with the law.
Since the shop's opening in 2021, Miami-Dade Animal Services have issued 16 citations, most of which have come from customer complaints about sick dogs.
However, Torres adamantly denies any wrongdoing, claiming he does what he can to keep the animals in good health.
Miami-Dade Animal Services spotted Zaza during an inspection on December 21, 2022.
Kathleen Labrada, assistant director of Miami-Dade Animal Services, claimed: "Pikachu was in the store'. There was a staff member holding the dog in her lap. We obtained a photograph at that time."
Labrada told NBC 6 it is: "unlawful for any person to possess, sell or otherwise transfer within the County any dyed or artificially coloured rabbit or other animal."
One week after the initial inspection, the County informed Torres that they would be issuing a citation.
But despite the negative press, Torres stands by his actions.
He claimed: "We live in a free country, and if they feel a certain type of way, they can go ahead and do research, just the same way I did, and understand what happened and where this dye came from."
He added that the dye should grow out in half a year.
However, despite the controversy, a Miami-Dade spoke person informed 7News Miami that they have no intent of removing ZaZa from her owner.
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