Victory! Denver Bans Declawing Cats

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Denver, Colo. just became the first city outside of California to stand up for cats and ban cruel declawing procedures.

This week the Denver City Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that bans declawing, unless it is deemed medically necessary to treat an underlying issue that would otherwise cause cats harm or pain. While declawing remains a controversial topic, the fact remains that it isn’t a simple procedure that merely removes a cats’ nails. Rather, the procedure, which is formally known as an onychectomy, involves surgically removing the last joint in a cat’s toe to which the nail is attached. For cats, it’s a ten-toe amputation.

Some have likened the procedure to cutting off the last joint of our fingers, but that doesn’t even equate, since we don’t walk on our hands.

Sadly, cats continue to become victims of this cruel and unnecessary procedure because they scratch our furniture or us. Their advocates continue to point out that it’s a natural and necessary behavior for cats who do it to mark their territory, maintain their nails and stretch, whether we like it or not.

Some supporters of this procedure argue that this surgery helps keep cats from being dumped in shelters, and that if declawing is banned more will be surrendered or abandoned. However, according to Brenda Barnette, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Animal Services Department, who supported the ordinance in Denver, in the five years since LA passed its declawing ban, the number of surrendered cats actually dropped by 43.4 percent.

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