MIAMI (WSVN) — A Miami Heat fan who faced backlash after showing off his dog’s Pokémon-style dyed fur at a game said his pet’s dye job is completely safe.
Speaking to 7News on Thursday night, Eric Torres said he had nothing to be sorry for what he did to his furry pal Sasha.
“I’m not going to apologize because at the end of the day, I know exactly what I’m doing,” he said.
But not everyone came aboard with his Pomeranian’s bright yellow paint, which makes the animal look a lot like the cartoon character Pikachu.
During Monday night’s game, a video of Torres sitting courtside in an anime pose with his perky ball of fluff went viral.
“I don’t think that dog signed off on the paint job,” said the game’s commentator.
Criticism quickly followed, with people saying the high-liner yellow dye work was cruel to animals.
But Torres said that was not the case.
“I’ve done my homework, I’ve done my research, and I know it’s not going to affect my animals, my dogs, in any way or form,” he said.
But his claims didn’t stop the onslaught of Zsa Zsa’s brightly colored makeover after sending the pup to California to have his fur dyed.
Torres chose to dye the animal because his daughter is a huge Pokémon fan, and he insisted the dye used on Sasha was harmless.
“Yes, it’s growing out, and as you can see, there’s no irritation to the skin,” he said.
But even if the dye job is harmless, as Torres says, that doesn’t mean it’s legal. The pet owner was fined $200 for violating Miami-Dade County ordinance 5-12A, which basically makes it illegal to own any dyed or artificially colored animals.
Officials with Miami-Dade Animal Services said Zsa Zsa was initially found at Torres’ business in Doral.
MDAS spokeswoman Kathleen Labrada said the subpoena was issued long before the dog’s video went viral.
“We actually got a complaint on December 20th from a guy who mentioned a sick puppy he bought on December 17th, so when we checked out the store on December 21st, we did Artificially colored dogs were seen in stores,” she said.
Torres said he was appalled by all the criticism, but still stood by his contention that he had done nothing wrong.
“We live in a free country, and if they feel a certain way, they can go ahead and do research, like I did, to understand what happened and where this dye came from,” he said.
Torres says the Zsa Zsa dye will grow out in about 6 months.
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