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Oklahoma Police Seize, Euthanize Illegally Tattooed Fish; 'I Love You'
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma City police have seized tropical fish from a pet store because they were tattooed in violation of city law. Officers took the fish from Quality Pets and had them euthanized.

Store owner Donnie Fleming says police came to his store after someone complained about a fish he sold that had "I love you" tattooed on its skin.

Fleming says it's ironic the city promotes fishing in which a minnow has a hook stuck in it and used as bait but coloring a fish and putting it in an aquarium and feeding it is considered cruel.

The Oklahoma City council is discussing amending the city law to allow dyeing fish different colors.

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Reader Comments

11 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

So,to the person who made the original complaint...how do you feel about it now?
   comment# 1   - dumoky · OKC · Sep 27, 2007 @ 2:53pm

Why do people need to 'tattoo' these fish anyway? Cant people enjoy them for their natural beauty rather some tacky gimmick?
   comment# 2   - Godspeed · Melbourne, Australia · Sep 27, 2007 @ 6:33pm

I hope it made the person who complaned happy that they killed the fish. It was done. How did killing a living being help anything? That was the stupiest things I've ever seen.
   comment# 3   - Angel · Panama, USA · Oct 3, 2007 @ 8:28am

FISH WAS VICTIM OF A CITY VIOLATION?!? I PRAY THAT I WON'T VIOLATE A CITY ORDANANCE WITH MY TATOOES THE NEXT TIME I AM VISITING MY MOM IN OKLAHOMA. MAYBE MY NEXT TATOO SHOULD READ: RESCUE (DO NOT SEIZE) REHABILITATE (DO NOT EUTHANIZE) POOR FISH SHOULD HAVE CHOSEN THE SAME TATOO. JUST ONE MORE REASON WHY I CHOOSE TO LIVE IN TEXAS AND NOT OKLAHOMA.
   comment# 4   - EVE L · IRVING, TX USA · Nov 10, 2007 @ 8:33am

@ dumoky, Angel, EVE L: I know it sounds a bit harsh, but do you have any idea about the torture these fish undergo in the tattooing process? Please do a search on the net and you will find out what horrible methods are used to cripple these fish.
   comment# 5   - oohfeeshy · India · Nov 28, 2007 @ 11:34pm

I honestly think it's better that the fish were euthanised. If you look it up, the pain they will undergo as the dye takes over their systems is far worse. Tatooed and dyed fish is a disgrace. No fish should be treated in this manner and the law should be left alone.
   comment# 6   - Laura · Australia · Dec 7, 2007 @ 12:21am

People, People, this fish shouldn't even be alive. 80% die before even reaching the pet store. they suffer pain just to live. So these fish deserved to die, as a free ticket to a painless world, I think.
   comment# 7   - David · Madison WI · Jan 19, 2010 @ 6:04pm

i have one of these guys. hes awesome & swimming happily with 4 un-tattooed others. pretty normal to me. everyone has a problem with something if you have a problem with seeing these fish then dont go into a pet store. with this day and age im pretty sure weve all seen alot of crazy things being done.
   comment# 8   - tk883 · Buffalo NY · Jan 30, 2010 @ 1:01pm

So....It is illegal to tattoo a fish, but legal to kill it ? Oops , sorry the word is euthanize, that makes it better, much more humane. People all over the world kill and eat fish, no one seems to have a problem with that. There are International Spear Fishing Tournaments no ones got a problem with that. Fish are on the menus of most restaurants in the world,no problem with that.Did these fish have a choice? I think not. If I was a fish and did have a choice,I would choose the Tatoo over the frying pan. Wouldn't you?
   comment# 9   - Kolohe · Tahiti · Nov 21, 2010 @ 9:53pm

it's legal to kill fish because you are taking away the suffering they've endured/are enduring. when fish are killed for sport/food purposes the death is quick. when they die due to someone tattooing them, the death is usually slow and painful. it isn't right to cause any living thing that amount of suffering for our own pleasure.
   comment# 10   - rae · st. charles MO · Apr 18, 2012 @ 7:25pm

But why did they feel the need to kill them ? That's worse than a tattoo. And a real shame.
   comment# 11   - Hillary Mack · USA · Jul 31, 2015 @ 8:29pm
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