Anti-Declawing demonstration St. Louis, USA, 2011, timetable and methods

by Michael
(London, UK)

St. Louis - the AVMA convention takes place near the St. Louis arch you see in the background. Photo by Ron Reiring (Flickr)

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

St. Louis - the AVMA convention takes place near the St. Louis arch you see in the background. Photo by Ron Reiring (Flickr)

Useful links
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FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Today's date: 1st September 2010:Protest against declawing - see you in St. Louis...I think that the suggestion by Kathleen that the demonstration should take place at the 2011 AVMA Convention is a great one. It is scheduled for 16 - 19 July 2011 in St. Louis. See map below for location of this city. It is a nice central location. See the earlier post (opens in new window) for information leading to this post.

The AVMA St. Louis convention will be held at the America's Center. (see map below). The America's Center is a complex of convention centers it seems to me. This may present obstacles or at least it asks questions as to where we can demonstrate. I wonder if one of the regulars could investigate where and under what rules a demonstration can take place at this center. If push comes to shove we can simply demonstrate on the street outside the center but I would prefer to be as close as possible.

To sign up to this landmark event please leave a comment with name and contact details (email). If you don't want to leave contact details here please email me - see my contact details. Or go to the Facebook page (new window) where there are lots of comments, thoughts and crossposting.

On this page, I set out my draft timetable and methods to try and put some structure into this discussion, which I love by the way! Thanks to everyone. Also, I think that we do need to create something as tangible as possible now, which will then make it easier to get other people involved including perhaps a celebrity and television.

I know people in America know where St. Louis, Missouri (MO) is but it helps to remind our international visitors and the map shows the actual location in St.Louis:

View Larger Map

These are my initial thoughts. They are a discussion point.

1. We should keep the demonstration as simple as possible. This will make it easier to organize. We need it to be easy to organize as the process is inherently quite difficult. We need to minimize barriers to achieving this goal. We need to work together to achieve this. We will probably all need to compromise and keep focused on the big picture. The key is to actually achieve a demonstration. To do it, good or bad, is our goal. To achieve that would be wonderful.

2. We should agree the method of demonstration and timetabling before we meet up - we can refine and tune things up on the day before the demo. That means a solid method of communication. For the time being these pages are doing a fine job of bringing us all together. I don't think we need any other method just yet. In fact I think we have all we need on PoC (this is not self-promotion!). This simplifies things as we all know how to use PoC etc. There is nothing new to learn, no barriers. If someone wants to say something big they can make a post and I will add it as a link to the master page (the original call to arms page!), which will be the hub and a page to return to. I will keep it in tidy order and make sure it all links up.

Update: the Facebook page created by Susan is active and works in conjunction with this one.

The fact that it is in public, helps I think, as newcomers can join in and subscribe to the protest. The public nature of it is a protest in itself. At this time, I favor a public forum on this to capture more recruits. We can go private nearer the event if we need to.

A Yahoo Group is a decent possibility but that needs setting up. Some people don't know how to use them and it will create fragmentation, I feel (i.e there will be PoC and the group). Posting comments on PoC is a great form of communication as you can be notified of new comments.

3. The demonstration takes place on one day of the convention - lets say Day 2, 17th July 2011. It starts just before the delegates arrive in the morning. Ideally, it takes place outside, near the entrance to where the convention takes place - vital: we need to check permits and place. It lasts for 4 hours. We form a large group encircling the entrance, ideally in a crescent shape but it might just be a line across the street. We should have a good number of placards. These can be made up by individuals in their own way and time before the day. I favor the Pet Project poster as a "template" with the person's hand with the tops of the fingers chopped off. This would be a nice tie up with the Paw Project as well.

One thought: We could buy cheap over sized gloves. Cut off the ends of fingers of one glove. Paint the glove white. Put it on our right hand with our fingers not protruding through the holes. And then when we shout in unison we raise the hand above our heads like the black panther salute at the Olympics.

Yes, we shout as well! One person has a megaphone and he or she leads by asking a question such as, "What do we want?" The response by the large group is to shout in unison: "To stop declawing". The leader then asks, "Why do we want it?". The response shouted loud and confidently, "It's cat abuse" or some such short line. We can devise many more of these. The "chanting" can be interspersed with individuals shouting in protest.

4. Before the demo we make our own way to St. Louis. We make our own hotel arrangements or accommodation arrangements to simplify things. We meet up one day before the demo at a hotel convention room in St. Louis that can be hired - location to be announced/decided. PoC will pay for the hire of the room. This will give us the chance to meet, discuss, get fired up, practice our shouting etc. and refine the timetable etc.

5. Immediately after the demo, which will end at about midday we disperse to travel home saying our farewells and exchanging congratulatory hugs! We will have earned them.

6. We carry out a debrief on PoC over the days following the demonstration. The debrief will discuss: successes, failures, refinements etc.

7. We plan the next demonstration!

Michael Avatar

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Anti-Declawing demonstration St. Louis, USA, 2011, timetable and methods

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Jul 18, 2011 Small But Effective
by: Kathleen

It sounds like the demonstrators did manage to make a definite impression, despite their small numbers! There was an article about the protest in the AVMA convention newsletter, and they say a local weekly paper talked to them in detail and that a representative from the AVMA came out to speak to them. They estimate their large banner was seen by several thousand people around the vicinity of the convention center and was visible from a block away. πŸ™‚

Jul 18, 2011 Well done
by: Michael

Just a short note to say a heartfelt thank you to START - St. Louis Animal Rights Team for turning up and protesting.

The numbers were small, very small (7) regrettably but it happened.

The people who protested deserve a lot of praise. I, for one, admire you guys.

I feel a sadness though that we could not get real numbers to attend. You should be able to pick up some information on their Facebook page.

I hope someone will post some pics in an article. If someone reads this you can use this form.

Jul 10, 2011 Brilliant press release
by: Ruth

Surely that should make a lot of people take notice !
Well done Annie and well done too everyone who will be attending.

GOOD LUCK from England

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jul 09, 2011 email I sent to news media regarding declaw protest
by: Annie Bruce

Dear St. Louis News Media,

The START Team--St. Louis Animal Rights Team is protesting the American Veterinary Medical Association national convention against the declawing of domestic cats.

When: Saturday, July 16, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Where: America’s Convention Center at 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis

Just a few facts about declawing*….

β€’ Declawing is the number one cause of litter box problems in cats.
β€’ Declawed cats bite more often than non-declawed cats.
β€’ Except in the U.S. and Canada, veterinarians around the world refuse to declaw.

The AVMA denies that declawed cats have these problems .) The AVMA writes, β€œThere is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups.” (The AVMA ignores studies published in their own JAVMA!) The AVMA’s false claims endanger cats, property and the health and welfare of Americans.

*The Humane Society of the United States has more information about declawing at

For more information about the declaw-protest, please visit .

Sent by:
Annie Bruce, author of Cat Be Good
phone: 303-530-9000
email: an***@go***************.com

Jun 30, 2011 Current Status
by: Michael

At the time of this comment, I am not attending as I have not received notification of attendance from people who intend to attend despite a number of request. Although I received about 6. Well over 400 intend to be at the demo however.

I have emailed HSUS (Humane Society of the United States). A spokesperson for HSUS had said that their activists were attending but I don't know if this is genuine or what. I have not had confirmation from HSUS of attendance.

The event can still take place. But on the ground, at the event, someone else will have to take charge.

If things change suddenly I will be there.

Michael Avatar

Jun 27, 2011 Confirmation
by: Michael

I have just tried to contact PETA to seek their confirmation that their people are attending and the email could not be sent!

How do I get confirmations of attendance? I need these before I come from London, England.

May 14, 2011 From 'Stop the declawing madness'
by: Ruth

They may not have confirmed with Michael, Ruth....but there are at least 300 people in jersey that I know of and another 4 or 5 dozen from my area of NY going. I should shoot him an e-mail and let him know. Just talked to the head of the Humane ...Society in jersey and the US Humane Society is sending 4 reps to an open legislative meeting at the end of May. She also believes ( but isnt sure ) that the USDA will be well represented too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

May 14, 2011 Cattress Mattress CatAWhack Crew
by: Bret Glass

Hi All! I haven't received any details or notifications either. Please keep me in the loop. I definitely will be there. If I can assist in any way, please contact me and I'll be happy to help.

May 13, 2011 ASPCA and HSUS support?
by: Kathleen

I have just seen a post on Facebook that claims the ASPCA and HSUS have "called for a huge protest in St. Louis MO on July 17th of this year" if declawing does not get considered for inclusion in the Federal Animal Cruelty Act to be voted upon in June. The date and location seem very coincidental. Has anyone heard ANYTHING about this? The post is on the Facebook page "Stop The Declawing Madness". I am quite confused. Is this a rumor?

May 08, 2011 Legalised cat abuse
by: Sylvia

All I can say is that if those 400 people don't go as they promised to in order to let the declawing doctors know the strength of their feeling then I for one blame every single one of them for allowing legalised cat abuse to go unchallenged

Apr 29, 2011 Facebook
by: Ruth

Michael I think you may have to personal message each person on facebook asking them to email you to confirm they are coming.
Our pension protest group has no way now of sending one message to all our members so maybe events doesn't either.
If you need help doing it, I and I'm sure some others will volunteer too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 28, 2011 Nope
by: Kitty Novich

I did not receive the FB message, even though I am "attending " the event.

Apr 28, 2011 Nope
by: Kitty Novich

I did not receive the FB message, even though I am "attending " the event.

Apr 28, 2011 Nope
by: Kitty Novich

I did not receive the FB message, even though I am "attending " the event.

Apr 22, 2011 Attendees May Still Not See FB Notices
by: Kathleen

Michael, it's possible that the people who have signed up for the event on Facebook may still not be getting notifications about news and new posts on the event page. Is there any way you can contact those on the attendee list directly to ask for confirmation?

Apr 20, 2011 Attendance Confirmation Please
by: Michael

Hi everyone. About 4 days ago, I sent what I thought was a message to all the people who had said they were attending for their confirmation that they are coming. I have received only one confirmation.

It may be that the Facebook message service has not got through to all the attendees. Could all people confirm their attendance by emailing me at mj********@gm***.com - thanks?

Michael Avatar

Apr 07, 2011 The Magic of POC
by: Dorothy

Susan, Michael and Ruth came to the rescue, and FAST. It was great to see this resolved without the waiting and wondering. If Anonymous is in St. Louis, perhaps you will join us for this demonstration.

This website is bigger than we know. Kudos to all.


Apr 07, 2011 Wonderful news!!
by: Susan

So glad the article worked and your new kitty can keep her claws!!! Thank You for researching this, many people just do what the landlord says w/o questioning it, it's great that you are an advocate for your cats health & welfare - you will be a wonderful cat guardian & your new kitty is very lucky to have you! If you need any ideas for caring for the claws, check out:

Apr 07, 2011 Wonderful
by: Ruth

That is wonderful news and thank you so much for letting us know your landlord has seen reason !
It's horrible to think of how many people simply take their landlords orders and have their cats declawed, some of them not even knowing how cruel it is, until it's too late.
I hope you have many happy years with your new cat.

Thank you Susan for your advice and links.
Another cat's fingers you've saved !!

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 07, 2011 Cat declaw requirement
by: Anonymous

To everyone who helped. I actually sent him this article and IT WORKED! I don't have to get my cat declawed!!
Just to clarify-
I just adopted the cat so I didn't know the pet terms when I moved in, so to my knowledge he hadn't changed anything. But that article above is really good and covers all grounds- why its bad for the cat AND the landlord's property to get the cat declawed. It worked. Thank you guys for your support and I'm gonna go pick up my kitty from the animal shelter today.

Apr 07, 2011 Cat declaw requirement
by: Anonymous

To everyone who helped. I actually sent him this article and IT WORKED! I don't have to get my cat declawed!!
Just to clarify-
I just adopted the cat so I didn't know the pet terms when I moved in, so to my knowledge he hadn't changed anything. But that article above is really good and covers all grounds- why its bad for the cat AND the landlord's property to get the cat declawed. It worked. Thank you guys for your support and I'm gonna go pick up my kitty from the animal shelter today.

Apr 07, 2011 Do NOT rent fr this landlord, please!!!
by: Susan

Please contact Legal Aid in your area (free service) to know your tenants rights!

Check out these resources for tenants regarding landlords that require de-clawing:

Here is an article written by a vet and an attorney regarding landlords requiring declawing- PRINT THIS OUT & GIVE IT TO YOUR LANDLORD:

I URGE you NOT to rent from this landlord if he does not change his policy - he is cruel to animals - please do not subject your cat to this extremely painful surgery. Even greedy, unethical vets who encourage declawing discourage rear feet declawing because it is so grossly inhumane. De-clawing permanently deforms a cats feet for the rest of their lives. PLEASE do not put your cat through this surgery.

Physical Consequences of Declawing:

Please do not put your cat through this surgery - find a landlord who does not require animal cruelty & send this info to this landlord to educate him - THANK YOU!!!

Apr 07, 2011 Declawing requirement in st louis - response
by: Michael

Hi, provided the landlord remains within the law and declawing of all four paws is legal in the USA although rare, then he can stipulate/impose any contractual requirements that he wants to on tenants who wish to rent in his block or apartment provided the tenant agrees.

However, he has to make this contractual requirement at the beginning and the condition has to be accepted to form a contract before the tenancy begins.

He cannot change the terms and conditions mid-term of the rental agreement.

Is he trying to change the terms and conditions? He can't.

There is an exception. If the contract to rent the property allows him to change the terms mid-rental then he can change them but that is subject to statutory requirements.

Governments protect tenants with statutory legislation (laws created by lawmakers) so there might be some protection there.

Michael Avatar

Apr 07, 2011 declawing required
by: Anonymous

thank you, I'm looking forward to your reply

Apr 07, 2011 To anonymous
by: Ruth

Please hang on, I've contacted someone expert on this to answer you very soon.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 06, 2011 declawing requirement in st louis
by: Anonymous

my landlord in st louis requires that i get my cat declawed in the back before he can be in the building. This just doesn't seem right. Is that even legal to require such a thing??

Feb 28, 2011 Petition and posters
by: Ruth

Hi Anna
If you would like to email me kattaddorra(at)
(@ for at of course,I'm trying to prevent more spam on that account) I'll email you back from my main account and I can send you any posters you would like to have.
It's wonderful to have you with us, I love your comments on the other pages !!!
You are especially valuable as you know exactly how declawing can affect cats, because of Lyova.
X for furry head
Michael I don't know what to think about the new petition, there is no point asking the same people who signed the other one. It would be a huge job to begin again as it took more than 2 years to reach the over 4,000 we had from all over the world. But Harriet Baker has it now and the lists of vets who signed and the list of famous or influential people too, she has plans for it. She has been interested from the start so she's a good person to trust to use it to the best advantage.
Susan would have liked it but was unable to print it off without paying someone. As she gives and does so much already it wouldn't have been fair on her.
I'd wear an anti declaw T shirt if I was coming,
I love your black design Michael with P.A.D on, along with cats ears and tail and I'd devise some way to look like I had no finger ends !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 27, 2011 Anna
by: Michael

It is great to have you around. I sense you are a very useful person to have around!

Ruth's Petition at was lost. The website shut down without warning - bad behavior I think. I did open a new one but I think the general view is that it should be put to bed but I could well be wrong. Am I wrong on that?

The handouts for the demo are free at the demo. I guess when they are printed by Ruth (Monty's mom) you can have one of them (or two..:-))

The Paw Project T-shirts can already be ordered from Susan's Cafe Press site (see link below).

The PAD T-Shirts are in discussion. At present we don't have agreement on that nor manufacture! Although Susan could set that up on Cafe Press. I could actually open a Cafe Press store myself (I used to have one but closed it - no business).

Do you think we should wear Anti-declaw T-Shirts?

Michael Avatar

Feb 27, 2011 communication aspects
by: Anna

Hello, Michael, Ruth, Kathleen, Leah and all:

I've just added myself to the Paw Project mailing list, but the connection to sign the petition does not work for some reason. I keep trying both: the link and directly. Any other way I can sign it?

Another point I'd like to make here: I am not sure about other states but in NY people working in public educational institutions, especially college professors, are usually advised not to be active in websites like facebook, myspace, youtube, etc. since the legal aspects of interaction with the students outside the college network are yet to be defined.

Therefore this site (as well as the paw project) is perfect for people like me. So, without joining the facebook, is there any other way for to get those posters Ruth mentioned before?

And if any of those fliers, bookmarks with the link to pictures-of-cats or T-shirts are available I would be happy to purchase them right away, for my Lyova's furry head, and her severed little toes.

Feb 10, 2011 Devastating
by: Leah (England)

Ruth as you know I'm so sorry. You have worked so hard to get the petition off the ground. Its been nearly a year since I first got to know you and in that time the signatures doubled.

Its such an awful setback I wish I was clever enough to suggest a solution but as you know I'm such a techophobe.

At least you still have the signatures which must still count for an awful lot even without the comments.

Please don't beat yourself up no one could have seen this coming.

Feb 08, 2011 OMG
by: Kathryn

Ruth I'm so sorry but I don't know what to suggest.
What a blow!

Feb 08, 2011 Our petition
by: Ruth

For anyone who doesn't already know, has gone without warning and I've had no reply to emails asking them why.
It's 3 weeks now so they are obviously not coming back.
We had 4376 signatures from all over the world, including some vets, influential animal welfare people and celebrities.
We have most of them on a microsoft works database, but no comments, which is sad because there were some very good ones which showed the strength of feeling against declawing and the guilt felt by some who had their cats declawed and those cats had suffered problems.
We also have the last few pages with names and comments only, thanks to Maggie who found the pages cached on google.
The problem is with over 4,000 signatures, as Susan says, printing them off even at 100 per page would be over 400 pages !
Petition sites will usually deliver them to the target but that's not an option now.
Emailing them to the AVMA would probably mean they would go into their trash as they are ignoring anti declaws now.
I'm really sorry for the 'troops' who have worked with me since I set it up over 2 years ago and spent hours emailing for signatures and for all the people who signed it too.
Has anyone any good ideas ?
I'm devastated.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 06, 2011 Printing
by: Ruth

Michael I had a try just out of interest to make black and gold bookmarks with the PoC logo on the back but the colours didn't look like I thought they would.
The white backgrounds will be much better.
I hope everyone at the Protest will take some home to give out, some pamphlets too, people love freebies.
I think this event will be a real wake up call to the AVMA and vets who declaw, I'm sorry I can't come.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 05, 2011 re anon
by: Anonymous

Anonymous # 1, you are not so anonymous.

Feb 05, 2011 Maybe so
by: Anonymous

Maybe so Kathleen but I don't think he expected to have to fork more money out for a couple of heavies to have an expenses paid trip.
Couldn't they do it for the love of cats if you really do need someone to keep you in order.
I sure don't need them to keep me in order.

Feb 04, 2011 P.S.
by: Michael

I have just remembered something. The handouts need to be on a white background for printing purposes. Please remember that MM is very kindly printing these out of the goodness of her own heart.

Michael Avatar

Feb 04, 2011 Update 4th Feb 2011
by: Michael

Things are moving along nicely. We have two handouts designed: pamphlet and bookmark. These were designed by Ruth UK (Kattaddorra). Ruth USA (Monty's mom - "MM") is kindly printing them. MM is also designing some of her own and Susan Woodhouse is designing and writing a pamphlet for vets! These are to come. Stand by.

You can see the existing handouts here:



I think we have decided on the merry band of protesters calling themselves: People Against Declawing (PAD). This is not obligatory and any suggestions are gratefully received.

Now, please note that I am not a trained designer! But it has been suggested that we could or should wear T-Shirts.

If we agree the name "P.A.D." - on that basis, I have designed some basic T-Shirts that you will be able to order at Susan Woodhouse's Cafe Press store as I understand it. Please wait for further news on this.

Susan actually sells pre-designed T-Shirts based on The Paw Project hand. People may prefer these! Feed back welcome, plus suggestions.

Susan's Cafe Press Store

You can see my current efforts here:

Front of T-Shirt

Back of T-Shirt

I am very happy for people to suggest alternatives.

I have suggested that the meeting place for the protesters before the event be under the St.Louis arch, which is not far in fact from the convention center. We can meet there the evening before and on the day of the protest and walk from there to the convention center.

We should actually meet in the evening of the 16th July as it is hot in St.Louis mid-July. Sunset is 8:25 pm on the 16th July 2011 so we could be there at say, 6 pm.

At that meeting we can discuss tactics and arrange the meeting the next day.

Michael Avatar

Feb 01, 2011 please see Oct. 9, 2010
by: Kathleen

I would respectfully refer the anonymous poster to the above dated post by Michael regarding this.

Feb 01, 2011 Give kudos to Michael of PoC
by: Anonymous

We Americans ought to be ashamed of ourselves.
A man having to organise this demonstration from another country and it must be costing him somewhat to get here.
Now someone wants money to pay peacekeepers.
Couldn't all protestors have the decency to act in a dignified manner without being bullied into doing so.
This is our big chance to let the AVMA and declaw doctors know our feelings on behalf of the millions who won't be able to attend.
We must not jepordise it.

Jan 27, 2011 Rescue Ink
by: Kathleen

I have contacted Sarah Brown, the executive director of Rescue Ink, by email to inquire intially about the possibility of getting their help with peacekeeping at the demonstration. Today I received a reply from someone named Mary whom I am guessing is an assistant of Ms. Brown's. She intends to bring it up for discussion at Rescue Ink's next meeting, but she is asking if our group would be able to cover the travel and accommodation expenses for two members of Rescue Ink. Do we think this would be possible? Personally, I don't feel that it's unreasonable of them to ask, and their presence at the demonstration would be almost certain to get us considerably more media exposure. But what does everyone else think?

Jan 25, 2011 Dress - Banners etc.
by: Michael

I wonder if we should let each individual create and wear their own protest clothes/costume and banners etc. This is my preferred method as it spreads the work load and makes it easier to organise.

We can wear a uniform T-Shirt if we wish with PAD on it but even that is optional it seems to me. I am working on the final design (ready soon).

The point I am making is that the number one goal is to get hundreds to be there on the day protesting!

The rest is important but secondary. Thank you for the comments and input - very welcome.

It is happening and hundred will be there....

Michael Avatar

Jan 25, 2011 Updates
by: Michael

I am in touch with Ruth UK - AKA Kattaddorra - who has agreed to design handouts for the demonstration.

These will be a bookmark and a pamphlet.

Ruth USA (Monty's mom) has very kindly agreed to print them. The bookmark and pamphlet are her idea too.

Once printed Ruth USA can send them to a USA protestor who can bring them to the group when we meet up the day before the demonstration. Alternatively Ruth USA herself will come to the demonstration and bring them. Thank you very much Ruths.

As to a name for the group, Ruth USA has said she likes PAD - People Against Declawing or Protesting Against Declawing. One of my earlier suggestions or a modification of it.

This has a nice link to the paw pad of the cat. If no one objects I would like to go with People Against Declawing PAD but would welcome input from others.

More to come

Michael Avatar

Jan 20, 2011 Need to be seen and heard
by: Anonymous

Standing there like lemons will achieve nothing.
We need to be seen and heard.

I think it's a great idea to dress as cats and all saying something like

or short and sweet

Jan 20, 2011 My thoughts
by: Ruth

CAD hasn't actually been decided on for the demonstration, we use ICAD for writing protest letters and contacting people in authority and that's because our group on facebook is called The International Coalition Against Declawing.
As this is all Michael's brainchild it's for him to decide on a name for the protestors.
I'm not able to go so I have no say but if I were, like Susan I'd wear the cats ears and tail we wear for fund raising. They are easy and cheap enough to buy or make. With black T shirts you would look fantastic.
Wouldn't it make a HUGE impact if the almost 400 people going did that ! Better still if you could somehow appear to have no finger ends.
After all you are protesting on behalf of cats who can't protest for themselves.
We know for a fact that wearing our cats bits when fund raising gets a lot of attention.
Yes keep it peaceful but not just standing there, you need banners and posters and a mantra, saying the same words over and over again with passion and the belief that you are right is VERY powerful.
It makes people believe them.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jan 18, 2011 thoughts
by: Kathleen

I tend to agree about the shouting...we do not want to set a tone of anger right from the outset. We are all in agreement about wanting to keep this demonstration PEACEFUL and send the right message to the public. We want to give the AVMA and the City of St. Louis AS LITTLE REASON AS POSSIBLE to interfere with us, so that if there are confrontations, it will be clear to the public that THEY started it because they are afraid of what we have to say. I agree too much emotionalism can work against us. And I tend to think that how we behave at the demonstration will in the long run be more important than exactly what we choose to call ourselves, though I've been a little ambivalent about the "cad" connotation as well.

Jan 17, 2011 some thoughts
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

I have been giving this a lot of thought, even though I don't know yet if I will be able to attend.

I know you settled of CAD for a name, Coalition Against Declawing, but I really liked PAD-- People Against Declawing. The word "cad" has negative connotations-- an arrogant person could be called a cad, if I'm not mistaken. However, "pad" has very very positive connotations: paw pads-- healthy ones! Also, the word "people" sounds more inviting than "coalition," because a person might think twice about joining a coalition-- sounds formal, impersonal. But we are all people-- just people who care for cats. I think that PAD might have a broader appeal, but perhaps I am over analyzing, and if you've already made shirts, just ignore my suggestion.

I would plan for hot weather. The farthest south I have ever been in July was Indianapolis, and it was so hot I could barely walk from the car to the motel. It was an oppressive heat like nothing I'd ever experienced. If you draw people from all over on this, you are going to have some there who will be at greater risk for heat exhaustion. Lots of bottled water on hand would not be a bad idea.

Could you ring the whole building with protesters? That would be quite impressive, would cover every entrance, and wouldn't be as likely to block the sidewalk.

I'd forget the shouting. The visual impact of people ringing the whole building would be more impactful than shouting, I think. When someone doesn't agree they paint the other side as "angry." We don't need emotionalism, we have facts, lots of them. Shout at someone, they will shut down. Give them the facts in a friendly, pleasant way, and you have a chance. Smile-- make people who meet you as they walk by feel glad that they did. You catch more flies with honey!

This doesn't mean we don't feel very angry about declawing, but this isn't for us to be able to vent, it's for the cats. We may not reach any of the vets themselves, but their cat owning customers can be reached more easily. The protest will be on t.v. How we come across can either catch the interest of the viewers at home, or turn them off entirely.

Oct 20, 2010 Preparation
by: Michael

First here is a link to a page from a "convert" who had the courage to realize that she was wrong to declaw her cats and admit it publicly. That takes courage and she is a great advocate for our cause. Well done to her:

Declawing my cat 16 years ago is my biggest regret...

Hotel bookings

Good point Kathleen. This crossed my mind. Essentially, everyone who is coming makes their own arrangements so we should let people make up their own minds as to when to book hotels. That said we could do a bit of research and advise as to the state of play on hotels.

I don't mind doing it but if someone can ring a couple of hotels to get a feel for how heavily they are booked in mid July that might assist.

I don't foresee a problem as even outlying hotels are not going to be that inconvenient I would have thought. Correct me if I am wrong.

Pre-demonstration meeting and training

I was thinking that the Gateway Arch park might a really nice and inspiring place for us all to meet and do a bit of rehearsing!

It is no more than about one third of a mile from the convention center. It will be July so the weather should be good. Here is a picture taken by George Thomas (Flickr) on July 14th 2008:

St Louis Arch

We could all meet directly under the center of the arch! That would be an completely certain place. I would suggest at 12 noon the day before the demonstration.

Group name

I have given this a bit of thought. If we are to name ourselves I think it should be a name that distinguishes us from other worthy animal and cat declaw causes.

The one thing that distinguishes us is that we are actually demonstrating - doing something physical on the ground - a first. We may well (and should ) do it again and again.

On that basis some possibles might be:

Protesters Against Declawing (PAD) - my current choice.

Protesting Against Declawing (PAD)

Demonstrating Against Declawing (DAD)

What do you think? It would create a tight group of people who are "special" in the cat world in that they have participated in something unique. We could issue a little commemorative item in recognition and give it to them. I don't mind PoC paying for this and organising it .

Here is an online manufacturer in the UK: Medals and Rosettes. T shirts as discussed are an alternative.


Michael Avatar

Oct 20, 2010 200 !!!
by: Ruth

I've just seen on facebook that 200 people are now attending !!!
That is so WONDERFUL !
Michael, Susan and Kathleen deserve total admiration for all that they are putting into organising this.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Oct 11, 2010 sounds good!
by: Kathleen

You're right, Michael, we still have lots of time. πŸ™‚ I think it would be fairly unlikely as well that the location for the convention would change, though it's good to keep that possibility in mind even if it's remote. I wonder how far in advance would be a good idea for people to make hotel reservations in order to be near the convention center? A lot of available rooms nearby may be reserved early by the convention itself. I'm thrilled that 189 have said they're coming, but I hope we can get even more. Some people who have responded via Facebook may be wanting to offer support but may not actually be able to come in person. I'll try contacting Rescue Ink & see if we get a response. You're right that there will be more to do as we get closer to the date. For now, we can just enjoy the anticipation! πŸ™‚

Oct 11, 2010 Updates
by: Michael

Hi, I feel a need to simply reassure people that this landmark project is still very much on track. We have plenty of time to make the remaining preparations I feel but if I have missed something please remind me.

There is not a lot to do, it seems to me as we have decided to demonstrate without permit (as is allowed).

I think we need to keep a little fluid at this stage in case the AVMA change venue or something (although this is unlikely, I would have thought). Nearer the time (but well in time) I will sort out a venue for a pre-demo meeting!

I am still thinking about a name for the team. These ideas gel slowly, I find!

I am thrilled to see that 189 are coming. And I am so grateful to Susan and Kathleen for their invaluable support.

If there is something that anyone thinks needs doing at this time, please tell me.


Michael Avatar

Oct 09, 2010 Rescue Link
by: Michael

Hi Kathleen. I think it is a good idea. And it would do no harm contacting them.

I had never heard of them but have just skimmed their website and they look suitable.

Please give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

Michael Avatar

Oct 04, 2010 Rescue Ink?
by: Kathleen

Hi, Michael. Susan and I have talked a little about the possibility of contacting Rescue Ink to see if they may be willing to help out in a peacekeeping capacity if their other commitments allow for it. What would you think about this idea? It could also mean media exposure for the demonstration.

Sep 18, 2010 Peace keepers name
by: Michael

Hi Kathleen.

I think we are following the suggestions in the article you refer to, more or less.


I was thinking about "organising" ourselves in due course by agreeing certain roles.

At the moment the three key players are myself, you and Susan. I see us (at present) running the protest and taking on certain roles at the time.

Susan is appointed chief peacekeeper!

We probably should appoint one or two spokespersons who present the same information. We can agree the "facts" beforehand to ensure consistency of message.


I take your point. CAD can cut both ways. This is why I like to chew on these subjects for a while. Some things should be cooked slowly!

PAD is an alternative: People Against Declawing. Or SAD (The Society Against Declawing). This could also be used against us! I am very sad (about declawing).

There are a million possibilities.

Michael Avatar

Sep 18, 2010 checking in
by: Kathleen

I think that's a good picture to use. I've seen it used widely all over the internet, so it should be pretty safe to use, and it sums up the cats' utter defenseless eloquently. CAD works for me as a name unless we come up with something we all like better. Of course, those who disagree with us will probably refer to US as "cads"- but do we need to be concerned with that?

i found an interesting article on staging social protests that we might glean some ideas from:

i think we've got the basic ideas in place, but i thought some of their tips and warnings sounded worth considering, particularly having peacekeepers, but would like to hear other opinions.

Sep 17, 2010 On Black!
by: Michael

I don't think we should rush the group naming but on the basis that we might choose CAD and on the basis that white might be less effective than black and that a picture might help, here are two examples on a T-Shirt:

The top one is the back the bottom one the front!

I am just enjoying playing with this.

Michael Avatar

Sep 17, 2010 Thanks Susan
by: Ruth

I'll look forward to when you decide on the name for sure and I'd love to be able to start using it asap as I have lots of protest letters to write at present.I usually say I am part of an international group educating about the cruelty of declawing, with the ultimate aim of having it made illegal.
To be able to put our groups letters after my name would prove we do exist.
I love the t shirt idea but no point in wearing them here where everyone is totally against declawing already.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 16, 2010 Forget the permit
by: Susan

It does sound like a permit is not worth pursuing based on Kathleen's refresher course of what she's learned from the City! (thanks for that!) I say forget it too. It will give us more reason to be on our best, professional behavior.

About t-shirt color, if we all agree that I upload our slogan on, they have 150 items to chose from to print it on, including many different colors and style shirts (t-shirts, tank tops, golf shirts, etc). We may want to give each individual the option of what style & color they want (they range in price)since we will all be wearing the same slogan. sets the base price of the shirts and adds a percentage on top for profit. That profit money can go to whatever expenses we need covered for the group. I was thinking about a cooler and lots of bottled water since it will be sweltering.

To answer Ruth's question, I consider all of the UK troops and all the international advocates as members of CAD. The more people with the words "Coalition Against Declawing" after their names the better. There is power in numbers.

Sep 16, 2010 Permits
by: Michael

Hi Kathleen. Thanks for taking the time to spell out the issues on permits.

We don't apply for a permit is my decision based on your input. But I await other people's thoughts.

I feel pretty confident we can keep out of trouble and not obstruct the precious sidewalk or the road.

As to a group title, there is time to digest and think a bit more for a while. Of course I like CAD but someone might have a eureka moment.

I am just thinking aloud as I said.

Michael Avatar

Sep 16, 2010 Permits, Name, Shirts, etc.
by: Kathleen

Here are my thoughts: On permits- I understand if people would feel more comfortable with some kind of permit in hand, but let me just remind you that according to what I was told, even *having* a permit grants us no protection if we obstruct the sidewalk, which I never realized was such a huge legal issue before! What the City Counselor's office told me, verbatim, was "You cannot get a permit to obstruct the sidewalk". Therefore, any permit we would apply for would be for the right to close the street and be in the *street*, which again, if we want to be right there at the convention center, would be asking for a MAJOR shutdown of traffic. I don't know how much of a difference it will make that we want it for a Sunday, because they made a point of telling me that emergency vehicle access through the area must also be maintained. I think our choice is clear: a more elaborate demonstration, with education tables and the like, in a location other than where the convention is happening, or something a bit more scaled down in the location of our choosing. But if everyone else feels like it would be worth trying to apply for the best of both worlds, I suppose we could go ahead and try, and we should always be able to fall back on the original plan of proceeding without a permit if need be. I do also think, however, that we should be cautious of multiple requests for various kinds of permits, because if the city officials perceive us as annoying, there is that much greater chance that we will be interfered with. The last time I spoke with them, they sounded like they were already beginning to lose patience, to be frank.

On the name- I think CAD could be good, and the Tshirt designs are nice and clear. What do we think about having a picture, though? And we may want to consider a color other than white, because I've always heard that white doesn't work well on TV, and we are hoping to get media coverage and have the shirts be fully legible.

Sep 16, 2010 I vote for C.A.D
by: Ruth

I'd love to be able to use C.A.D after my name when writing comments on google alerts or to the many places I write protest letters about declawing.
Can those of us who can't come next year still join in this ?
Just yesterday I wrote to that Apollo Creek Shepherd Rescue where kittens are offered as 'will be declawed before adoption'
How official it would have looked with letters after my name !
C.A.D is short and to the point and not easily forgotten.
Good on you Michael.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 16, 2010 CAD
by: MIchael

Hi Susan, I prefer CAD too. It is quite current in an old fashioned way! And quite English which might appeal to Americans.

Lets see if anyone else makes a comment. As I said the purpose behind my last comment was to put something concrete on the page to see where it leads to.

Michael Avatar

Sep 16, 2010 LOVE the t-shirt idea!!!
by: Susan

Good point Michael. Perhaps is it best to apply for a permit. If they turn down a "parade" then maybe we could think about the "block party" one where only a portion of one street wud have to be closed down. That way we could set up education tables. I would love to be safegaurded with some kind of permit if possible.

I love the group name & t-shirt ideas. I was thinking myself about it & thot it best to be something very clear and specific like "Ban Cat Declawing", but I like the CAD idea much better, esp since it spells something negative ("only CAD's declaw!).

I would love the backing of a group when making comments after articles or writing letters to vets & orgs, and of course at the protest. I think being able to write "Coalition Against Declawing" after our names would be quite powerful.

Sep 16, 2010 T-Shirts and Group Name
by: Michael

I couldn't resist having a go at this. Although I am not completely sure that we are wise to give ourselves a group name at this early stage. We may be "jumping the gun" or getting ahead of ourselves.

That said it might be a good opportunity to create a group. I also think that if we can have a unifying appearance it will create more impact. I suppose that really goes without saying.

So in the spirit of the demonstration and to put some flesh on the idea here are some proposed designs.

Please note: these are just ideas. I am thinking aloud no more. I would love some more suggestions. The more the better. I will do more mock ups with new ideas if you wish.

The criteria I applied in making up these titles were:

1. Create a memorable acronym from the first letters of each word of the group title. In the first one the word CAD means a bad person or a person or low morals so it is very apt indeed.

2. Try one wide and one narrow group objective.

3. Avoid the word "People" in the group title so as not to overlap with PETA.

Over to other people.

On the subject of permits

Although, on the face of it, there seems little point in applying for a permit because we are advised it would be turned down, on second thoughts there would seem to be no harm in applying if the numbers are not too large and on the basis that it will be Sunday. What I am saying is a permit might be granted despite the initial advice. Not sure. What do Susan and Kathleen think?

Michael Avatar

Sep 15, 2010 Focus, T-shirts, Name, Etc.
by: Kathleen

I wholeheartedly agree with what has been said about keeping the focus of this event on the declawing of cats. This issue (specifically) is the one I have been narrowing my own focus down to, THIS is the problem I want to make a difference in, and I do think it's important to concentrate our energy and efforts to have the biggest possible impact. I also agree that it may be helpful for our group to have a name, especially if we DO want to try to make these demonstrations a regular event at many such conventions. I think it will help give us more of a recognizable presence, make us more of a force to be reckoned with. And while I'm told the Paw Project is supportive of our plans, I didn't think we could exactly say that we are directly affiliated with them or give the impression that the demonstration(s) is(are) a direct extension of what they do, so that might be another point in favor of having our own T-shirt design rather than using their image, as well. I think having some unity in what we wear is important, though. Rather than having many different designs, perhaps we could all vote on which we think is the best, once we have some ideas on the table? As for group names, I like the idea of an internet search engine pulling us up along with the AVMA, but I wonder if people will be more likely to remember a shorter name that isn't as dependent on its initials? Of course these are all just some ideas I'm throwing out. πŸ™‚

Sep 15, 2010 T-shirt ideas
by: Susan

Do you think it's a good idea to have several different anti-declaw shirts to chose from, or just one with the event name somewhere on it like they do for running races?

I can load up images or designs on to cafepress. com as long as they are in .jpeg form. Any design/images used has to be original, we can't use any from the internet. People can then purchase the shirts through the - I will set the price as low as I can. I think that's better than putting out the money & having them made & trying to collect for them later.

ALSO, I think I was misunderstood when I was writing about my group idea last night, probably because I didn't word it correctly. But my intention was not to suggest the July demonstration be about anything more then declawing, but to form an international group that would be against all mutilations surgeries - and protest them either all at once or just one mutilation at a time. I thought the tag line could be used on the back of the t-shirts mentioning all mutilations since the front of the shirts would clearly be about declawing. It just verifies how many acts of cruelty the vets engage in against companion animals. But the group idea can wait, I'm more concerned about getting people to the protest right now!

Sep 15, 2010 Cats
by: JayCee

I'm with you on this.It's about time cats had their day.Declawing has happened barely challenged since the 1960s whilst allsorts happens on behalf of dogs.
It's time those poor forgotten creatures had voices to speak for them.
They have as much right as dogs to have people stop others from cruelly treating them by unspeakable procedures.
When all comes to all this is a site for cats and about cats and helping cats.
I'm an American living in the UK for a long time now and very ashamed of my mother country.
Good luck with this.

Sep 15, 2010 Thanks Michael
by: Ruth

We couldn't just stand by and not voice our fears that the whole demonstration would be doomed by too many aspects of animal abuse at once.
We know from years of campaigning experience how that can work against each cause and end up doing no good for any of them.
Each cause is worthy of its own attention and protest.
It's time cats had their share of people speaking out on their behalf, for a change.
Devocalisation affects them too so fair enough to include that.

Sep 15, 2010 About T Shirts
by: Michael

T Shirts are a great idea. I love the idea for impact and focus. And I love your thought processes.

I hope that we can focus on declawing at this demonstration. I believe that we have to keep this simple, focused and straightforward to get the max impact.

Perhaps a coalition of the various causes can be created on the back of this protest? Not sure. They are all worthy. It is just that I believe we need to keep a sharp focus so that we can sell our message.

The water is already muddied by the vets. I believe that we need to create as much clarity as possible.

Michael Avatar

Sep 15, 2010 To Ruth
by: Michael

Ruth, thanks for your comment. I understand. I agree with Susan when she says:

"This demonstration in July is first and foremost about DECLAWING - no one knows more than me the need for that in the USA. Hopefully this will start the trend for many more protests to come"

It is an anti-declawing demo...period. And I will stay faithful to that as will Susan and Kathleen.

And I will remain focused on that. I believe in simplicity because through focus and simplicity we can get the message across.

That said we can incorporate devocalisation in a subtle and unobtrusive way, I believe. For me there are no other matters to cover at the demo.

Hope this helps.

Michael Avatar

Sep 15, 2010 To Barbara
by: Michael

I agree with you Barbara and am sympathetic to what you say. We are not going to dilute the demo against declawing. There will be some devocalization banners etc. (that is the intention) because I cannot say no to someone (Beth) who asks me to help. It is impossible.

Also they are all part and parcel of the same problem and one supports the other.

Michael Avatar

Sep 15, 2010 It's just an idea, there doesn't need to be a name at all!
by: Susan

There can still be a group called IDBU, and there NEEDS to be one. There is always a need for more anti-declaw groups! The reason I thot of the name I did was when people search "AVMA" they could also get IVAVMA to see the hypocrisies of the vet community. My thought to name the group protesting was to empower others to protest vets about mutilation surgeries, either specifically about declawing, or all of them. This demonstration in July is first and foremost about DECLAWING - no one knows more than me the need for that in the USA. Hopefully this will start the trend for many more protests to come.

Sep 15, 2010 I agree
by: Ruth

It's the same with everything, if you ask for too much at once you end up getting nothing at all.
I have no say either as I can't be there at the demonstration but it's true there are many people fighting to stop the mutilation of dogs whereas some people don't even know declawing cats is commonplace.
Cats are the hidden away second class citizens in the USA !
I detest cropping and docking but painful and unecessary as they are to dogs,they don't affect their health like declawing does to cats.
Devocalization does,yes, but there are already many people calling for a ban on this.
When I first 'met' Annie Bruce 2 years ago, who became very ill because of her struggle for years to educate and ultimately get declawing banned,she had the idea of a worldwide union and hoped to call it The IBDU.... The International Ban Declawing Union...but sadly we couldn't get enough people interested at that time.
We must not forget people like her who have been fighting this abuse for many many years.She wrote about it in her book'Good Cats Wear Black' which she sent free signed copies of over for our UK troops.She is willing to send anyone a copy, contact her via her website:
UK troops also have a lot of research going on in the background with Dr Hofve and it's proving VERY telling !
I'm so glad that at long last things are happening to hasten the end of this premeditated abuse by vets.
Now I'll butt out too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 15, 2010 Slightly worried
by: Barbara

This has nothing to do with me as I can't be there so have no say BUT I'm just worried that if the demo is about all those dreadful things and not purely about declawing, then the attention will be taken off something that doesn't get enough publicity anyway. Devocalising, cropping and docking attracts a lot of dog people to fight it, very few people seem to know, or care, about cats suffering from declawing.
You're quite entitled to tell me to butt out but I just had to have my say. πŸ™‚

Barbara avatar

Sep 14, 2010 T-shirts
by: Susan

I have a store on so can upload any images or designs (.jpeg) we create, then everyone can buy their own t-shirt. I'll see about the Paw Project.

I was thinking we should name our group, and perhaps we could have our name on the back of the t-shirts.

One name that came to mind is:
International Voices Against Veterinarians Mutilating Animals (IVAVMA),
Until No Animal is Declawed, Devoiced, Cropped, or Docked (tagline) - - that is if we want to incorporate all of the convenience & cosmetic mutilations.

There could be chapters all around the world!

Sep 14, 2010 Peaceful and Permeable
by: Kathleen

I think it will be OK. We will just need to allow passersby on the sidewalk to pass around and through us without attempting to STOP anyone, which is not to say that we cannot talk to people who are passing by, or that we cannot carry signs (we just wouldn't be able to have large banners that stretch across the sidewalk or similar). And yes, this way if the vets want to cause trouble for us, THEY will have to come OUTSIDE to do so, and I think having a good supply of video cameras with us will be a good idea. I also think that it would be really good if we could possibly all arrange to wear some kind of T-shirt design that will give us a unified look and greater visual impact (with the exception of any individuals who may have more elaborate costumes prepared, that is.) The Paw Project poster would be great to use, but we would need their permission, of course. Barring that, maybe we could come up with something of our own? And I do still plan to try to get something in writing that states we have the lawful right to demonstrate without a permit, of course.

Sep 14, 2010 Agreed
by: Michael

Hi, based on what I read, I agree with Susan. If our numbers are high which would be great, we can spread out to prevent any obstruction.

As to permits, judging by what Kathleen has discovered (thanks a lot Kathleen), I think we more or less have to rely on the good old First Amendment to the United States Constitution - freedom of speech.

If anyone else has any thoughts I'd like to hear from them.

Thanks Susan for your input.

Michael Avatar

Sep 13, 2010 Let's stay outside Convention Center.
by: Susan

I definitely think we should stay outside the Convention Center, I think that is the main point, to be where the vets are gathering. It may be risky, but it sounds like we may need to proceed without a permit based on that information.

Considering we are doing this on a Sunday & many of the stores or businesses won't be open, I can't imagine that the traffic & pedestrian volume would be that high and the risk of "obstructing" anyone that great.

If we stretch out around all the entrances of the Convention Center, so we are seen by the vets when they come & go, and we of course let them pass by peacefully, then we shouldn't have much to worry about. We just have to make sure everyone understands that this is PEACEFUL!

My real concern is if the vets get confrontational & it is viewed as us obstructing & we get booted because of their bad behavior (a mirror of who they really are). Bring your video cameras everyone so we can get everything on film to post on YouTube for the world to see!

Sep 13, 2010 Options
by: Kathleen

I have spoken again to the City Counselor's office and the Street Department of St. Louis, explaining that we have concerns about our numbers (potentially) making it difficult to avoid obstructing the sidewalk, and asking if it would be permissible to apply for a parade permit for our peaceful demonstration. I was told that we may apply for one, but due to the VERY high volume of traffic on the streets around the convention center and the need to allow access by emergency vehicles, there is a very good chance that our application would not be approved for that specfic location. Therefore, we would probably be considerably further away than we would like. That's the bad news. The good news is that at least we don't need to apply for a parade permit in person; it may be done by mail, as long as it is done at least 60 days in advance, and the person applying is not required to be a resident of St. Louis. So, at this point it sounds like our two main options would be to either demonstrate without a permit outside the convention center, bearing in mind that obstruction of the sidewalk is illegal "whether you have any kind of permit or not, and not just here in St. Louis, but everywhere", or to apply for a parade permit that will in all likelihood take us further away from our target. πŸ™ The parade application form, available from the city website, can be viewed here:

It is seeming to me at this point that our better course of action will be extremely dependent on exactly how many people we can get to actually come. I think being outside the convention center is the preferable thing, and if we allow the public to walk through our group, I can't see how we can be said to be obstructing the sidewalk; however, it seems like if we choose to do it this way, there may be some risk involved, so what does everyone else think??

Sep 12, 2010 Kathleen
by: Michael

Hi Kathleen - great stuff. I like the idea of a parade! If we are 100 and we march in the street we should be noticed...:)

If in doubt about permits I would go for the max. and PoC will pay.

And it is a nice tie up with the World Veterinary Year.

Like all of humanity the practice of veterinary surgery is developing and becoming more sophisticated and enlightened. Not so very long ago a good number of vets weren't sure if animals felt pain! Some in in US still aren't sure.

They sure need a bit of development and enlightenment in the US and this ties in nicely with the demo because stopping declawing is about taking an enlightened and more sophisticated approach to animal welfare. What we propose is more civilised than what is currently happening.

I think we can devise some chants around that or poster and if we get in the media we can refer to World Veterinary Year.

Thanks Kathleen.

Michael Avatar

Sep 11, 2010 World Veterinary Year-A Tie-In For Us??
by: Kathleen

I've just learned that it's being proposed that 2011 be called "World Veterinary Year" and there will be great worldwide focus on the history and significance of the veterinary profession, which makes it an auspicious year for our demonstration! Info at Vet2011 website:

One of the events of this worldwide symposium is even scheduled to take place in St. Louis, though I believe it will be the month before our demonstration is planned. At the very least, this could be another good talking point for us, since the vets in most of the rest of the world do not support declawing!

Sep 11, 2010 Permit Questions
by: Kathleen

The thing is, I'm not certain the city of St. Louis actually *does* issue permits specifically for demonstrations/protests. That is the distinct impression I got from searching through their website and speaking to people on the phone. I know it is up to individual cities what the requirements are in that particular city. They probably don't want to encourage it! LOL But they know it is a basic right to assemble peacefully, so I have a feeling that is why they do things this way; so that they are not outright *denying* people their rights, yet it does seem to make it very easy to shut down any demonstration that can be construed as "getting out of hand". The two closest options for actual permits appear to be for either A) a "block party" or B) a parade. Fees for either one are not bad at all in my opinion; it should be only $20 unless it's a parade permit that blocks off a public street (as opposed to a residential street), and then it would be $100. Now, we MAY be able to get away with calling our demonstration a "block party" and then we would have a good deal more freedom, BUT we don't want the city to say that the permit was obtained on false pretenses, either, so we would have to make certain that definition is adaptable to what we want to do. Also, we then might not be able to hold it right in front of the convention center. So it sounds like I will probably need to contact them with a few more questions...

Sep 11, 2010 Education Table
by: Susan

Will the permit allow us to set up an education table outside with brochures, bumper stickers, etc? And can we prop posters against the building, steps, and pillars?

Soon we need to discuss how to get the media there!

Sep 11, 2010 Permit
by: Michael

Hi Susan and Kathleen


If our numbers are going to be reasonable which seems to be the case, I think we should get a permit. And as you say it is a form of insurance for us. No one can push us around or disrupt our demonstration and we would be demonstrating with formal permission.

Kathleen, would you be kind enough to investigate getting a permit (cost etc.) and get back to us?


I like what you say and have changed my thoughts on this a bit. If we are 100 people, we can and I agree, should, march outside for the general public to see. It will be more permissible too - so less chance of trouble etc.

We might march outside and move on inside or at least some of us might. It depends on the lie of the land and permits etc.

Thanks again for your work.

Michael Avatar

Sep 10, 2010 Maybe we SHOULD get a permit
by: Susan

I have been thinking too about who our audience really is, and I agree I think it's the public, and media, more so than the vets. We can put the pressure on the vets by educating the public & talking to the media about their many injustices & criminal acts toward animals.

Maybe we should get a permit so they can't try to run us off if we happen to "obstruct" anyone while we our protesting from the pavement. Better safe than sorry! Let me know if I can help in any way.

Let's all commit to protesting at the conventions for as long as we have to until these mutilations are ended in the USA.

Sep 10, 2010 Inside vs. Outside
by: Kathleen

My thoughts are that it is important for us to have a presence *outside* the convention to reach the public. We are trying to let the public know about the AVMA's hypocrisy. I think attempting to confront the vets themselves inside at their own convention may lead to a greater chance of things getting ugly, if we are even able to get permission to be inside the convention center, which I tend to think would be unlikely. I think they will be well aware of our presence outside! I did and do wonder, however, how we will avoid obstructing the sidewalk if we get as many people participating as we hope we will, so that is something to consider. I was planning on getting my letter out at the beginning of next week requesting the written summary of what I was told verbally about not needing a permit, but if we think we would rather apply for one anyway, that's fine; I just would like to know there is agreement on how to proceed before I contact the city again. πŸ™‚

Sep 10, 2010 Update
by: Michael

I am checking but I understand that we have about 60-70 people attending the demo as at this date. Fantastic. I want more and more and more..there is plenty of time for people to join. And it will be a party as well as a significant event in the cat world. We can all meet new like minded people and make new friends.

My heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all visitors and regulars who have supported and promoted this initiative. Thanks too to Susan Woodhouse for promoting it on Facebook with success.

Lets go forward. Lets promote it some more and never stop.

Michael Avatar

Sep 09, 2010 Good point
by: Michael

Hi Susan, I agree. It may be more productive to demonstrate outside - not sure. It depends who the audience is. It is probably both the vets and the public. So as you say, inside and out might work provided we have sufficient numbers.

I think we will have to wait for the day before the demo when we are in St.Louis and we can then check out the land, the position of things etc. and formulate a strategy.

Thanks for that Susan.

Michael Avatar

Sep 09, 2010 Public attention
by: Susan

Maybe we could have people both inside and out. I still think it's really important to get the publics attention about this - that we won't stand for it anymore - and they won't see or hear us if we are all inside. There are many people in St. Louis who have absolutely no idea what declawing is, so we can both educate them & put the vets under pressure by demonstrating on the streets.

Sep 09, 2010 Kathleen
by: Michael

Hi Kathleen...great and thanks v.much.

Regarding the permit two things come to mind based on your good work:

1. The convention center is 500 meters (546 yards) long by about 200 meters in depth. It covers several blocks on the long side.

There are probably several (many) entrances leading to conference rooms. Inside there are probably corridors and open spaces. I am guessing.

If we are confined to the pavement we may be too distant from the vets and the particular conference room they are attending.

If I am correct (and I am guessing) I wonder if we can ask permission to demonstrate in a place inside the complex. I presume that it must be very large inside with lots of public and private areas.

I wonder if we can ask about that? Are there public areas inside the conference center complex and do we need permission to demonstrate in these places.

Also, can we find out which part of the complex the AVMA conference is taking place? If we narrow it down we can be more effective I feel. I'll research this but the organisers of the conference halls might know already.

Although is not essential that we confront the vets it would be nice.

2. If we do achieve 100 protesters...great thought..We would probably block the pavement and possibly the road even if we marched! On that basis might we get a permit anyway?

If you need some funding for phone calls and the cost of the permit (should you think we need one) please ask and PoC will pay for it.

I am sorry if you find that I am asking too many questions. I feel that the time spent preparing well will be well rewarded on the day.

Michael Avatar

Sep 09, 2010 Filled with admiration
by: Ruth

I am following this with total admiration for all the work and thought being put into it by those of you organising it and for all of you who will be taking part.
I think a peaceful demonstration is a wonderful idea and will definately draw attention to the horror of declawing.
I hope TV cameras come along and the whole of the USA learns the truth.
Just think of how many cats you will save if the demonstration gets on to YouTube too !

I LOVE all of you who are doing this !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 08, 2010 Sounds GOOD to me πŸ™‚
by: Susan

Thanks for your work Kathleen. I think it sounds like a good plan to not a get a permit since we plan to stay peaceful & professional and just shout the truth from the streets! If we make this a yearly thing, which I think we should until declawing has ended, and our crowd gets more massive, maybe then we should get a permit for a "sit in" or parade, but for now, I say lets proceed without one (but agree we need to get it in writing).

I am soooooooooooooooooo excited to put the spotlight on this heinous crime against animals, inflicted by the very people who have taken an oath to do no harm. Another sign idea: "Boycott vets that harm animals. Boycott vets that declaw"

Sep 08, 2010 Michael
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Michael. We're still busy getting settled after the move, so there hasn't been much time for the web lately. But all is well - and the cats still love their new catio... πŸ˜‰

Sep 08, 2010 "No Permit Necessary"
by: Kathleen

OK, here is what I was told today by the office of Assistant City Counselor to the City of St. Louis: A permit for a peaceful demonstration would only be necessary if we wanted to rent out space in a public park or if we wanted to have a street blocked off. We may lawfully demonstrate on a public sidewalk without a permit so long as we do not impede either vehicular or pedestrian traffic and do not "park" ourselves in a way that obstructs the sidewalk, but keep moving. So if we were to march on the sidewalk (not the street)in a circle around the convention center, for example, that should be perfectly acceptable.

I agree that it would be good to have something in writing to this effect, so if this scenario sounds acceptable to everyone here, I will send a letter requesting them to send me a written summary of what I was told.

Sep 08, 2010 Thanks Finn
by: Michael

Hi Finn, thanks for your encouragement. I hope the family is well.

Michael Avatar

Sep 08, 2010 Great initiative
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Unless I win in the lottery I won't be able to go to St. Louis next summer, but hope everybody who can, will be there.
Good luck - it's gonna be a great day for all claws! πŸ™‚

Finn Frode avatar

Sep 08, 2010 Signing up
by: Michael

Signing up

Yes, anyone who wishes to join us in this demonstration should leave a comment and name.

Some people don't like leaving contact details in public so at this stage I have not asked for that.

If you are confident enough to leave contact details, please do so as well - thank you very much.

Nearer the date I will be collating all details and we can coordinate here on PoC and through emails.

Note to Kathleen - you did great, perfect. I await hearing further from you. When you have some definitive information, may I trouble you to get the authorities to put what they say in writing in a headed letter to you.

This I think is important as people change their minds and for example someone else might not know about it, in which case we can produce the letter.

Thanks Kathleen, so much.

Michael Avatar

Sep 07, 2010 Permit Progress
by: Kathleen

I have spoken to someone in the Street Department in St. Louis who told me that she didn't believe a permit would be necessary for a peaceful demonstration (and there was nothing on the city's website about demonstration permits specifically), but that I should double check with the City Council office. I spoke with a gentleman there who told me that the lawyer who handles that type of thing is out today and should be back in the office tomorrow, so hopefully I will get a call back from them tomorrow. They wanted to know something about the nature of what we are planning and when it would be, of course, and so I told them it would be a peaceful demonstration on the sidewalk outside a convention being held by the AVMA next July. I saw no reason not to be forthcoming with that much information at this point, as we obviously need to explain what we want to do to make sure we will be nice and legal. I have the name of the gentleman I'm supposed to speak to so I can follow up if I don't get a call back. So far everyone I spoke to has been cordial and helpful. πŸ™‚ I will post the news as it develops.

Sep 07, 2010 Sign up
by: Anonymous

Just name? Or contact info? Is this where to sign up?

Sep 07, 2010 Interested People
by: Michael

Could interested visitors please sign up to this landmark demonstration by leaving a comment and name. Thanks.

Michael Avatar

Sep 04, 2010 Posters
by: Ruth

Please help yourslves to any of these posters which might be useful.

You are welcome to join our group too of course.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 03, 2010 My vote: focus on Convention Center
by: Susan

THANK YOU Kathleen for finding out all about the permits:-)

My vote would be to focus on peacefully protesting outside the Convention Center, right under the AVMA's noses, and not march through the streets. I would think it could get expensive to get a parade type permit where they would have to close off streets, have traffic control, etc. Plus if it's that hot, 112 degrees, I don't know if we really want to be pounding the hot pavement, but that is just me!

I love Michael's ideas about using the Paw Projects posters, wearing fingerless gloves, and having a leader with a megaphone & the crowd chanting back. I'd also like to make other posters that say things like "AVMA really stands for American Vets Mutilating Animals". I'll probably wear cat ears, whiskers, tail, & add blood to my gloves too.

THANK YOU Michael for calling this protest to order πŸ™‚

Sep 03, 2010 Do We Want to March?
by: Kathleen

One thing we may want to think about until I can actually speak to someone in the St. Louis Street Dept. is whether we want to actually march through the streets or whether we want to stay put as close to the convention center as possible, because what we decide will likely affect the exact type of permit we need to apply for. If we want to march, we will probably need a parade permit, which means we will need to have a preplanned route. Also, a parade permit MAY need to be applied for in person, so it's very good that local people in St. Louis are with us! I've sent an initial e-mail request to the street department for more detailed information, but I plan to try following up with a phone call after the holiday weekend. Deadlines for permits are 60 days beforehand for a parade permit, 30 days beforehand for other types of street events or block parties. More news soon!

Sep 03, 2010 Working on Permit
by: Kathleen

Hi all- I will be contacting the city of St. Louis ASAP regarding permit requirements and will post what I find out here. I am not expecting a response until after the long Labor Day Weekend, but I'm on it! πŸ™‚

Sep 03, 2010 Yah! People power!
by: Leah

This is so exciting! People cannot ignore this!
I'm so pleased I cant tell you!

Since I first heard about this and got to know Ruth and babz I've seen some horrific images. Its frustating to say the least when so many think this is just fine and dandy! I want to shake them!!

I also find it frustrating when 'busy' high profile so called animal lovers just cant afford their time and effort.

This is why I'm overjoyed that the protest is taking off. Same as Ruth and Babz count me in for help as I cant go either. I'm not bad with a needle and cotton so if you want anything putting togeather let me know!

Sep 02, 2010 I may dress up as a limping cat with mutilated, bloody paws
by: Susan

Michael, I will wait a tiny bit to set up the Event on FB until we hear from Kathleen about the permit details just to make sure we can indeed protest, which I'm sure we can, but better to make sure we can get through any hurdles. Also, Kitty has helped to connect us with the rescues in St Louis who are against declawing! I'll get invitations to them as well as every animal group I know exists. I bet we get a whole city block of people πŸ™‚

Sep 02, 2010 Hi Nick
by: Michael

Thanks for taking the time to comment. If you can help recruit some people that would be fantastic.

American people are obviously the best placed because of travel but anyone, anywhere is most welcome.

Please stick around we need help.

Michael Avatar

Sep 02, 2010 Good Luck!
by: Nick Cassels

Good luck with this. It really is such a good caus. Great if you can capture the public's imagination.

If us UK followers can be of any help in anyway please let us know


Sep 02, 2010 Admiring you all
by: Ruth

UK troops and I are following all this with great interest and excitement and admiring you all very much !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 02, 2010 UPDATE
by: Michael

Hi troops..Please use this thread for the time being - thanks.

I am touch with Jim Jensvold of The Paw Project. He has very kindly offered assistance. Great news. Thanks again Jim - great stuff.

I have asked for assistance in publicizing the demo and checking out the permits and rules of making a demo at The America's Center in St. Louis.

Jim has a friend with HSUS who lives in St.Louis. She might be able to help.

I would like us to use the classic and iconic Paw Project Poster of the human hand with finger cut off at the tips.

This would be a nice tie up with The Paw Project and it is the best poster at the moment.

Thanks Kitty for the advice on weather. Being a Brit I crave hot weather.

Susan Thanks for the offer to publicize. Yes, please publicize it on Facebook. Out first job is to find 100 women and men true and strong to join us. Lets find them.

Kathleen Fantastic..please check out permits etc. This is vital work as we must get this right and as you saw be very respectful of the law and peaceful but there will be plenty of passion and noise!

Please report back by leaving a comment here. Thanks a lot in advance.

I will be contacting other organizations too.

Michael Avatar

Sep 01, 2010 Yay!
by: Kitty

I will be very happy to join your protest! I will be there. I live in St. Louis I just want to warn everyone about the weather. July in this area is extremely hot and humid. The average heat index this year was 112. Please be careful and dress accordingly. Keep plenty of water handy!! Umbrellas will also come in handy.

Sep 01, 2010 Thanks Michael!
by: Susan

Great plan! I will be there for sure! And will help with whatever organizing I can, just let me know what I can do.
Now that the plan is in place I think we should start inviting everyone we know!
If you'd like, I can start an "event" about it on Facebook so we can invite every person on our friends list & have them invite everyone on theirs, etc, etc.
Thanks for putting this plan in place & getting the ball rolling πŸ™‚

Sep 01, 2010 All Sounds Great!
by: Kathleen

This is all sounding great so far! I like the idea of keeping communication here on PoC for now; I for one have never used a Yahoo group and it does seem to me like there is good communication going on here for now. I would be happy to start making some initial phone calls to St. Louis and see what the requirements & stipulations would be for a permit & such. It wouldn't hurt for us to speak to the convention center itself as well as City Hall. As for TV coverage or a celebrity, does anyone think that the TV show "Extreme Makeover", which did the story on the Forever Wild exotic animal sanctuary and the declaw repair surgery of a tiger living there, would have any interest? To my understanding that was the first major American TV show to cover the negative effects of declawing in any way at all. We might also think about contacting any of the celebrities who have participated in Alley Cat Allies "I'm An Ally" campaign, since these people are already showing that they support cat welfare.

Sep 01, 2010 Protest
by: Jim

I like it!

Sep 01, 2010 Oops, thanks Anono
by: Dorothy

Good catch. Guess we cannot be in a hurry.


Sep 01, 2010 typo I think
by: Anonymous

We don't want him to veto the bill Dorothy we want him to pass it

Sep 01, 2010 I meant for this to be here, not the other page
by: Dorothy

by: Dorothy

Meet me in St. Louis! (It's a great old song, but I've never been to St. Louis)

Thanks for taking the lead Michael. Now to find the warm bodies. It will happen.

Meanwhile for anyone who has not written to the "Governator" urging him to sign AG 2743, again here is the link. If he signs this bill, it will give a huge boost to this cause and save thousands of cats claws. It will prevent landlords from requiring that cats be declawed.


Sep 01, 2010 Best of luck to everyone
by: Barbara

I am thrilled to bits that this is happening and I admire Michael's get up and go, there's no stopping the bloke! Brilliant. I am only sorry I'm not going to be there, I would love to shout myself hoarse and wave a banner about. I think the time schedule is right, plenty of time between now and then to fine tune it and for people to book time off work, make arrangements and save for them too. I hope there are loads more volunteers from our American friends who feel as we do that declawing has to stop.
This is such a wonderful step forward - a real tangible protest that will draw attention to declawing both on TV and in the press. Yippeee!!!

Barbara avatar

Sep 01, 2010 I have hope now !
by: Ruth

Michael, you deserve a medal !
So do all of your volunteers. My heart is filled with gladness that so many people are taking this abuse of cats seriously at long last and want to do something about it by making their feelings known. Also I now dare to hope that this protest will be so well attended, it won't be ignorable.
It is REALLY going to happen !
Meanwhile we can carry on in a small way saving some cats from this cruel operation by educating people, but we need to save ALL cats, not just some.
How I wish I could be there with you all on that day !
Maybe you could also present our petition? Yes I know some people think it's worthless, but up to now we have 3843 signatures from all over the world and some wonderful comments.Not bad when it began in a tiny house in England and hopefully by next July we'll have a lot more signatures.
We could print off the petition and send it down to you in London or give you the details as to how to get into Administration to do that, but it will take a lot of paper and ink to print it all off and you will have enough expense already with this trip. Babz and I will be willing to provide the paper,ink and postage as our contribution because we can not go with you.
Apart from that I can only wish everyone involved all the luck in the world !!

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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