Man fined £165 after outraging the internet by dying puppy to look like Pikachu

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A dog was dyed so as to look like Pikachu (Image: @cjzero/Twitter)
A dog was dyed so as to look like Pikachu (Image: @cjzero/Twitter)

A dog owner has been fined for dyeing his puppy red and yellow so as to look like the popular Pokemon character Pikachu.

Video footage of the animal went viral after the owner, Erik Torres, proudly showed off his 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," reported the Daily Star.

While the owner may have been having a joke, many have pointed out that his antics could have caused distress to the dog and it led to him being fined $200 (around £165) by Miami-Dade County in the United States.

The law states that it's illegal to be in possession of any dyed or artificially coloured animal.

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Man fined £165 after outraging the internet by dying puppy to look like PikachuOwner Erik Torres has been fined (instagram.com/worldfamouspuppies__ceo)
Man fined £165 after outraging the internet by dying puppy to look like PikachuThe images of the dog went viral on social media (instagram.com/worldfamouspuppies__ceo)

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.

"Puppies are very delicate. They do tend to have very low immune systems as they develop and so it’s the nature of the business that dogs do get sick," Torres told NBCMiami.com, but added that the dye was safe enough to even eat.

Torres, who owns the 'World Famous Puppies' pet store, in Doral, Florida, has reportedly 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.

But Torres adamantly denies any wrongdoing, claiming he does what he can to keep the animals in good health.

Man fined £165 after outraging the internet by dying puppy to look like PikachuTorres has denied that dyeing is cruel for the dog (instagram.com/worldfamous_puppies)

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."

She said 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, County authorities informed Torres that they would be issuing a citation.

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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.

Despite the controversy, a Miami-Dade spokesperson told NBC Miami that they have no intention of removing Zaza from her owner.

James Sweetnam

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