Elisa: Two Solutions To Stop Declawing
by Elisa Black-Taylor
An integral and important part of the cat - photo Alexey Busygin (Flickr)
Due to the response of my previous articles and the desire for me to address the declawing issue, here I am. Going off track for my readers as requested. So my next planned article will have to wait. There is no "homework" for this article. This is all my personal opinion. I don't believe I've ever done this.
I have two solutions to stop declawing. Neither involves the government.
None of this is based on fact or research. Just an intense belief that it will work.
The reason I haven't already addressed the declawing issue is wrapped up in the way I determine a story. Once the idea comes to mind, I go to the pictures-of-cats website. Here I key in the subject I want to discuss to be sure it is fresh and not something written about by others. Declawing has been addressed very well by Michael, Ruth, Maggie and the other regular contributors. They know more on it than I could ever learn.
The problem is, the practice is still being done while the laws to make this illegal are tied up in government red tape.
Let's just say I know how to cut the red tape but I don't have the scissors. I do feel sure one of my readers does. I think we're all going about this the "slow" way in trying to convince the government on a ban when we can do this ourselves faster.
Another reason to aim the education at children is because some adults simply will never accept declawing is wrong. You can preach at them and show them the facts all day long and still not change their opinion. Many many households planning to declaw a cat have children. Let's teach the children to stop the parents
Educate the children
The first solution is education at a very early age (I'm talking before age 10). Ruth has already provided us with the best way to educate the children. Ruth's story about Sebastian needs to be made into an e-book IMMEDIATELY and made available to kids. Children have the ability to educate their parents. Either thru discussing the issue rationally or pitching a temper tantrum to prevent "Fluffy" from going to the vet for the surgery.
A child's honesty is a wonderful thing. While many pet owning parents may try to sugarcoat the distress declawing causes, a child will tell the truth and say "I won't let you cripple my pet for life." Think about it.
First I'd like to list what I knew about declawing before ever reading an article. These 5 reasons alone were enough to convince me that declawing is BAD.
1. It is painful in a different way from being injured. Injured cats know they are injured. They accept this. Declawed cats are feeling great when they go into surgery and wake up in unending agony.
2. Many returned to a shelter for behavior or litter box problems that declawing causes.
3. Not safe around children as declawed cats learn to bite to replace the defense mechanism removed by declawing.
4. Must be kept indoors because the ability to climb a tree to escape or use claws as defense is gone forever.
5. Many landlords used to require this in a lease. So renters unknowingly deformed their cats for life.
The second solution is computer software
Take a look at the link below and study it.
This is a software program that allows a citizen to key in a zip code and find any sex offenders who live in their area. This is the type of software we will need to stop declawing. Petitions and education are working, but are taking much too long to pass thru. I say continue the education and put this plan into place ASAP.
Unfortunately I'm a writer-not a software genius.
First we need to set up a website using the same software as the familywatchdog. It has to be software that works worldwide using zip code or city and country listings.
Then we address this problems in two very different ways. The first is to contact each veterinarian in our own area and find out their views on the issue. For those who are against declawing, ask that they please educate their customers. I use the word "customers" because a vet runs a business and that's what all of this boils down to in the long run. MONEY. I believe that a lot of the time it isn't the individual vet who declaws. It's a clinic that offers it in a "package" deal along with spay/neuter. I know the one in my area doesn't, thank goodness.
I can just imagine how its done."For ONLY $X amount, we will also declaw your cat at the time of surgery." Never mind an explanation about the permanent crippling of a healthy cat.
Now for my opinion on stopping them where it hurts. In the WALLET. This is where the international website ties in. Website viewers would need to be able to get into the site and list veterinarians who declaw in their particular area. We can blacklist or "ban" them. Simply make a few phone calls and ask "Are you for or against declawing and do you do this in your practice." Any vet who declaws will have his/her name placed on the list in the international databank. They will be told their name is there and will be removed when the practice is banned at their clinic. I believe vets against declawing will begin advertising themselves as "we ban declawing." That will make finding a vet much easier.
Or we could recommend vets who don't declaw. Have the worldwide data bank only list vets who are against it. Inform everyone in your email address book to check the list before finding a vet. If the one's against this mutilation get all of the business and the ones performing it get no business...well, that's a no-brainer.
I honestly feel this will work. Just because a pet owner is too stupid to realize this practice is wrong won't leave them with a cat scarred for life. Because the vet will know and tell the owner "this is wrong and we no longer do it."
In the United States, www.yellowpages.com has a "rate this business" section. There are also numerous other sites such as the yellow pages site popping up on the internet. The technology is there. If someone can just create the site, we can all contribute and get the word out. Networking is a fantastic thing. It's how I inform my readers I have a new story waiting. Thousands can be reached with just a click of the mouse. I know that my method of networking gets the word out to about 9000 people within 5 minutes of publication.
Each reader can call a few of the veterinarians in their area and report them on the data base if they still declaw. Don't worry about making them mad. We're already mad enough for them performing the surgery. Don't be afraid to tell them their office won't be used for ANY reason until they take declawing off of their services offered. Spread the word to all of your email friends about any vet who offers declawing. Ask them to check with their local vets and contribute to the worldwide data bank list.
We could even make the data base link available on all outgoing email. People who run a home business do this all the time.
Then sit back and watch the veterinarians customer list shrink to nothing. Maybe the vets will know we're serious about this issue when it affects their paycheck.
If anyone out there knows how to get this started, I can help with writing the intro and adding related photos and stories. I really hate to say it but just talking and educating people hasn't accomplished enough.
I'm sorry I haven't addressed this before. I tend to stay with abuse laws and programs that raise money for shelters. And Michael is so much more informed on the subject than I'll ever be.
I may be daydreaming on my ideas expressed here, but I'm known as a daydreamer anyway so I don't consider it an insult.
I would like some feedback on this. Both as Ruth's story on Sebastian being turned into an e-book and a worldwide data base.
P.S. Let us know when you get Ruth's e-book ready for distribution and we can all send it as an attachment in all of our outgoing emails. That should reach a few million people to start things off.