New York pet lovers are certainly a breed all their own, and now many are getting an image of their furry companions tattooed on their bodies.
In Fort Greene Brooklyn, tattoo artist Jessica Valentine doesn't just bring her French Bulldogs Regina, George and Creature to work, she spends much of her day with other pet lovers, tattooing images of dogs and cats on their bodies.
"I love animals. It's my favorite subject to tattoo, so, personally, I get really excited when I have a client who wants to get a pet tattoo,” said Valentine.
In fact, she has several herself.
"I've got pets that have passed away. I've got ‘Creature.’ I've got names of old pets. I have tons of pet tattoos," she told us.
Valentine shares her studio space with fellow tattoo artist Sophie Bushman, who has her own pet tattoo.
"I have a portrait of my two kitties, a sphinx and a tabby, Molly and Lord Zenu. I mean they're my babies," she gushed.
In Chelsea, a tattoo artist known as Dani says pet requests have grown from occasional to frequent. Dani says they’re now the biggest tattoo trend.
"It's the happiest thing that I can encounter as a tattoo artist,” Dani said.
Dani tattooed Paul Kim's new adopted cat Simon on his arm. "It makes sense because people get tattoos of things they love," he told us as he showed us his tattoo.
For many of the people who come here to get a pet tattoo, it is, in fact, their very first.
Michael Lin's Pit Bull Kibbles just recently passed away. Dani did a portrait of his beloved dog.
"I would say she captured the entire essence of her. It looks just like her," he said.
On the Lower East Side, Michael McCabe, who’s written books on tattoos, says it's not just our pet frenzy feeding this trend. It's also improvements in equipment and technique over the last decade.
"The tattoo machines are refined,” McCabe said. “They're like dentistry instruments, the practitioners all went to art school so they can do an absolute portrait of your cat or your bird."
One thing we found fascinating about these tattoos, significant others come and go, and so do tattoos of them. But tattoo artists say no one ever comes back and asks to remove an image of their pet.