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Tattoo artist who inked dog quits New York job

March 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- A New York tattoo shop owner said the employee who tattooed his sedated dog has quit the shop and is planning to "lay low for a while."

Chris Torres, the owner of the Red Legged Devil tattoo parlor who has appeared on reality TV show "NY Ink," said employee Alexander Avgerakis, aka "Mistah Metro," quit his job amid the backlash from a picture Avgerakis posted online of a tattoo he gave to his dog, the New York Post reported Friday.

"He quit. He texted me yesterday and told me he was going to lay low for a while. I'm not protesting that. I can't have him back here," Torres said.

Torres said the shop has received many angry calls, some featuring death threats, from animal lovers outraged at Avgerakis for tattooing a heart on his pit bull mix, Zion, while she was sedated from spleen surgery.

Torres said Avgerakis may have made a poor decision, but he isn't a bad person.

"The guy's not mean. He's not an animal abuser. He doesn't beat animals or tie them up in the cold. He just didn't think out what he did," Torres said. "He came in and grabbed his tools. He said his dog was at the vet and he was going to give it a tattoo. We all laughed and he took off."

"He spent thousands of dollars keeping that dog alive. It had a tumor on its spleen. You're not going to have its spleen removed with a tumor on it if you don't care about your dog," Torres said.

Avgerakis, who has appeared in hip hop videos on YouTube, did not return requests for comment, the Post said.

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