April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month and the perfect time to raise awareness about the dangers of declawing for cats and other animals alike.
We were privileged to be able to interview Lori Shepler, City the Kitty's Mom and advocate for banning declawing. Below are a series of questions that Lori answered for to help us gain a deeper insight of how declawing has become a norm and the dangers of continuing the practice.
1. What drove you to be passionate about banning declawing? Was there a particular event or was it something you were always involved in?
About four years ago a fan of City The Kitty‘s told me about the Paw Project and this cause to end declawing. I looked into it and was appalled that so many millions of cats were having this inhumane procedure done to them in America. I was looking for a good cause to take up, so I jumped right in, full-time and started working on helping with the awareness about this barbaric procedure.
2. When did declawing become a norm among vets? Why is it promoted to cat owners?
Declawing was invented in the 50’s by an AVMA vet and it was promoted in the vet profession as a humane way to protect furniture and it caught on. Declawing is a billion-dollar business in America and that’s why the vet associations fight so hard to stop the anti-declawing bills. They say that we are trying to take away a medical procedure but declawing is a mutilating and inhumane procedure that has no benefit to the cat. They are running out of excuses to try to keep declawing legal for their declawing vets.
3. If there is one thing our fans need to know about declawing what would it be? Why should they be more active on an individual level?
Declawing is feline paw mutilation and this procedure that involves amputating the toe bones and claws on a cat always harms the long-term health and well-being of a cat no matter how it is done. There are always humane alternatives like sturdy scratching posts, horizontal and vertical scratching posts, nail trims, soft paws, deterrents, etc. There is never a reason to do such a harmful procedure to cats. If someone feels that they have no other choice to do it, they should rehome the kitty and give it a home where the owner cares about the health and well-being of the cat.
If everyone helped this cause by signing petitions, finding an ethical and humane no-declaw vet to take their pets to, speak up about it, contacted their legislators, declawing would end sooner than later.
4. What Organizations are the most important to follow that are actively making a change?
Dr. Jennifer Conrad with the Pawproject.org is the one who started this cause and works tirelessly to help end declawing. Alley Cat Allies are also working hard to help end declawing. And of course, City the Kitty since I work full time on trying to help raise awareness about declawing and I shine a light on all the unethical things involving this inhumane procedure.
5. How can cat owners become more involved in banning declawing?
Sign petitions, contact their local legislators and ask them to introduce anti-declawing legislation, follow City the kitty and the others who are leading the way and have a call to actions.
6. What are some recent feats that active declaw banning campaigns have achieved in 2017?
- North Shore Animal League America wrote an awesome letter of support for the anti-declawing bill in NY.
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine small animal hospital stopped declawing.
- Canadian Veterinary Medical Association completely condemned declawing.
- The New Jersey anti-declawing bill passed 43-10 in the Assembly. It will be back on the table in 2018.
- Denver banned declawing.
- There are bills to end this inhumane procedure in NY, WV, and RI. There’s a new anti-declawing bill in California that was just introduced.
- American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) came out with stronger statements against declawing. Let's hope that in 2018 they stop catering to their declawing veterinarian's pocketbooks and their own pocketbooks and finally not allow declawing at their "Cat-Friendly" and "Standard of Excellence" vet hospitals.
- Nova Scotia and Denver banned declawing!
- Texas Coalition for Animal Protection stopped performing declaw procedures at their clinics!
- A groundbreaking declawing study lead by Dr. Nicole Martell-Moran showed how harmful declawing is to the health and well-being of a cat, no matter how it is performed or what age the cat has its toe bones amputated.
We wanted to Thank Lori for providing us some insight into the dangers of declawing and why it needs to be banned sooner than later. Be sure to check out City the Kitty's Petition Page and sign the petition's that can help save future cats from the cruel procedure!