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The fiercest debate on the internet today: Does this constitute animal cruelty?

A pet owner could face criminal charges after she tattooed her cat to make it more “glamorous”.

Fitness model Elena Ivanickaya, from Chernihiv in Ukraine, decided to have an image of Winged Anubis, an Egyptian god, tattooed on her pet sphinx’s chest.

While Ivanickaya maintains the cat was anaesthetised during the inking and “did not feel any pain”, animal right’s activists and concerned animal lovers alike are claiming it’s a case of animal cruelty.

Certainly, the photos posted to the model’s Instagram page are difficult to look at. One shows the cat being pinned down, with a person’s hand around its neck and a needle in its arm as the tattoo artist completes the image.

One concerned follower expressed a common sentiment, writing: “You just can’t torture those who are weaker than you. It is not a toy, it is a living being.”

Meanwhile, police spokesperson Natalia Chovpylo told The Sun that Ivanickaya could be charged, suggesting an investigation may soon be underway.

“If we establish that the animal was tortured, we will open a criminal case,” Chovpylo said.

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(Image via Instagram.)

The Ukranian woman defended the procedure, which she said would make the cat as glamorous as her, The Sun reports.

"I checked with the vet before getting him a tattoo and they were fine with it and a vet was present while they were doing the tattoo, so everything was under control," she said.

"The cat is treated with love and care... he is very smart and enjoys his happy life. The tattoo was made on the upper layer of skin. Only 1-2 millimetres. He did not feel any pain.

"Right after the procedure he behaved normally and started to go on with his normal routine."

She added that she believed there were worse things that could be done to an animal.

"This cat's life is better than yours. Maybe it is hell for you, but he feels just fine... He has not been castrated and he never will be, this would be real cruelty."

So, tell us - where do you stand? Cute or cruel?

Listen: Josh Britt talks about the behind the scenes of the dog and cat wedding.

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