A dog owner was branded ‘cruel and selfish’ for dyeing her poodle’s hair bright pink.
Lydia Geall, 28, faced a backlash online after posting a picture of Eggz online with a pink tail and feet.
The owner of a dog grooming salon in Hull argued that she dyed her dog because it reflected her ‘sassy’ personality and ‘looks adorable’.
Lydia said: ‘A lot of people have said I dyed her for attention, but even without her coloured bits she was already a pretty unusual looking dog.’
She added that the hair dye was not something she sold at her salon, Oakwood Dog Grooming, unless customers specifically asked for it.
Lydia said: ‘It’s not something we advertise that we offer to customers, but on a couple of occasions when it’s been requested, we’ve done it using a less vibrant dye than the one I used on Eggz, or chalk, both of which fade out without washing in around a week.’
But her picture of Eggz attracted criticism from followers on Facebook, one who said: ‘Hair coloring is a human fad and pets such as cats and dogs should be kept outside this ambit.’
Another said: ‘I think it’s a damn shame, if the poor dog was meant to be that colour it would have been born like it. And looking at the poor dog it doesn’t look happy, poor bugger.’
Lydia said the hair dye used on the black and white dog had been ‘semi permanent, vegan and dog friendly’ but she acknowledged the makeover was ‘not everyone’s taste’.
She added: ‘We completely expected to people to dislike Eggz new look, but some people have taken it way too far, spending hours of their time slagging us off.
‘It’s just uncalled for and quite honestly they aren’t the type of people we want to be dealing with.
‘We have no issue with people expressing their opinion but when people are accusing us of being cruel etc then course we are going to defend ourselves.’
Lydia, who has run the dog grooming salon for four years, continued: ‘It’s a shame that so many people have got angry, upset, or feel concerned about Eggz, but the negativity has definitely been out numbered by the amount of smiles she’s put on the faces of everyone who met her [since the dye was put on].’
The RSPCA discourages people from painting or dyeing animals ‘for novelty purposes’, saying: ‘We want all animals treated with kindness and respect.’
Last month, animal campaigners slammed organisers of Lattitude festival after a number of sheep were dyed neon pink.
Peta director Mimi Bekhechi said the sheep would have had their heads ‘held down with a crook’ while the dye was placed all over their bodies.
She added: ‘In 2019, only ignorant or cruel people still use animals as living toys, props, and photo ops.
‘We’ve learned enough about animals to know to respect and admire them for their ability to live in a world we’re fast destroying.
‘The Health and Safety Executive advises that sheep should never be dyed for cosmetic purposes.’
A spokesperson for Latitude said: ‘The sheep are dip dyed using natural, water based dye. They are used to dip dyeing as part of their normal farm life.’