Texan Chris Mendiola accidentally got a neutered symbol tattooed onto his arm after seeing it on his dog and mistakenly thinking it was put there by an abusive previous owner. So to show solidarity with his 11-year-old mastiff-pit bull-boxer mix, called Bear, his got one too. Except, it wasn't a sign of animal abuse at all, and after posting a picture of his new tattoo to Facebook he's been getting roundly mocked on social media for his actions.
Mendiola and his story went viral after photos posted to his Facebook page, showing his pet, the alleged tattoo, and the neutered symbol as it appears on his bicep started to get lots of attention.
"For those of you who know bear know that he has a tattoo given to him from some previous owners." he captioned the images. "It sickens me to know that people actually tattoo their pets. So tonight I got his tattoo."
Chris Mendiola's 'Neutered' Tattoo On Social Media
But no sooner had he posted the pic then people responded that he was mistaken and that it wasn't anything to do with dog tattoos. The symbol is there so other vets know the dog has been neutered. And if you're wondering why a dog needs a symbol when you can clearly see it's been neutered, well, it's because of a condition called cryptorchidism.
Cryptorchidism can lead to a dog's testicles not being visible (but it still has them but inside the abdomen), so if the dog has the neutered symbol, vets caring for the animal will know it doesn't have testicles because of cryptorchidism and saves any unnecessary procedures or searching.
Facebook Responds To Chris Mendiola's Post
Since the story blew up on social media, Mendiola has claimed that he knew the symbol meant neutered and he got it anyway. “I’m not ashamed of it at all,” he told InsideEdition.com. “It’s for me and him. It’s really for me and my dog. It was for nobody else.”
"We talked to our vet about the tattoo. I knew what it meant," Mendiola told Buzzfeed, continuing "I get to carry my dog with me everywhere I go. I can just look down and know I have a part of him with me at all times. A lot of people are saying 'I'd do anything for my pet,' but would you. Would you get a neutered sign tattooed on your bicep?" Probably not, no. Mendiola is now using the backlash and attention to focus on raising money for a local no-kill shelter through GoFundMe.
Check out some reactions from Twitter below.