Tattoos for change

     Standing in line as the clouds start to take over the sky.  The cold mist filling the air as the raindrops drip down her face. 

      After 30 minutes, the doors finally open.  She looks over the shoulders of the first three people in line, as she stood next. 

      The smile on her face grows bigger as she walks through the doors surrounded by black and white designs. 

      Shannon Davis is at the Baltimore Tattoo Museum in line to get her third tattoo.  But

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Several people wait to get in the door of the Baltimore Tattoo Museum Saturday morning. Over 100 people pledged to get a tattoo for animal rights. Photo by:Valerie Bragg.

this time, she’s doing it for the animals. 

      “I said that if Rescue Ink would come to Baltimore, I would get my pit bull Lucy’s paw print tattooed on me,” Davis said.   

      Davis was one of over 70 people to get a tattoo to support the cause against animal abuse. 

     Unleashed blog author, Jill Rosen, plead for readers to get paw print tattoos if the famous Rescue Ink came to Baltimore. 

     Rescue Ink is a group of huge, tattooed men who confronts animal abusers and rescues pets.  The show, also called Rescue Ink, takes place in New York. 

      Out of 102 people who pledged to get a paw print tattoo, Davis was the first.  When Rescue Ink responded to Rosen’s blog on the Baltimore Sun, they expressed their joy for the support they received from the Baltimore area. 

      Because Rescue Ink is a non-profit organization, they were not sure if they would be able to appear in Baltimore because of expenses, but still wanted everyone to keep fighting for the animals.  That’s when the Baltimore Humane Society stepped in. 

      “Tracy, communication manager, reads the blog and said ‘Hey, why don’t we act on that because none of the other organizations in the area have done that.’ So it was about two weeks ago and it came together really quickly.  But we’re all really excited,” said Patrice Woodard, volunteer manager of the Baltimore Humane Society. 

      Every one who got a tattoo paid $100 and the money was divided between organizations. 

      “Half the money goes towards the Baltimore Humane Society, the other half goes towards Rescue Ink,” said Megan Bradford, another person who plegded to get tattooed.   “They’re all against animal abuse and anything to help out someone who is as liked-minded as we are, then bring it.  I’ll pay for it, I don’t care.” 

      Davis wanted to do something more than just get a paw print tattoo.  She wanted to get her own dogs paw print on her right rib cage. 

     “Shannon was a client of mine before and wanted to also contribute to the event, and yet do her own thing,” said Laura Rachel, Davis’s tattoo artist.  “So she got a custom version of a paw print as opposed to what they are doing upstairs, which is all uniform…the same exact paw print over and over.”

     Since Davis got a personal tattoo, she not only paid for her tattoo, but she also donated $100 to the Baltimore Humane Society. 

      Davis smiled the entire time while the needle was pressing against her skin.  The tattoo took about 45 minutes to do. 

      “It’s a powerful statement about animal rights,” she said.  “And I wanted to make that statement as publicly as possible.”

     Everyone was able to meet Rescue Ink on Sunday when the group came to the Baltimore Humane Society.  The group made speeches, rallied people against animal abuse, took pictures and had pledges people could sign against animal cruelty. 

      Rescue Ink also visited the Maryland SPCA on Monday.  Their show airs on the National Geographic Channel every Friday at 10 p.m. 

      Davis was proudly supported by her family with her choice to get a tattoo for animals; they waited outside the door as Davis was getting her new ink.  

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