California Declawing Veto-Another Viewpoint
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Good morning readers. I’d like to discuss Ab2743 Landlord-Rentor Declawing and Debarking Bill recently vetoed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’d like to warn the readers here that this will be a very complicated article and you’ll probably want to take a few headache pills before diving into it.
I can’t believe I’m taking on “The Terminator.” Oh Lordy, what am I doing? Speaking up for the cats-THAT’s what I’m doing!
California’s veto of this bill means landlords in California can refuse to rent a property to someone if their cat has claws.
This article will show how by vetoing AB2743, veterinarians will be forced to go against their own state code by declawing cats without trying to “correct clawing problems” by other means.
I don’t agree with declawing a cat and am literally biting my tongue as I write this.
I plan to tackle this issue from several angles.
First of all, let’s look at the unemployment rates for California. The rate in August 2010 was 12.4%. (1) This has affected all classes of citizens. Many are losing their homes. Even middle class citizens sometimes go from a small home into government housing. This is happening not only in California, but in every state. Many of these households have cats and the cats have had uncomplicated lives until now. People are losing their homes for non payment of property taxes. They’re losing their homes because unemployment compensation doesn’t pay the bills and for many even this money has run out and no job in sight. In other words, people never having money problems in the past are now struggling.
Many former homeowners are having to move into apartments.
With the shift in living arrangements, cat owners face having a cat declawed before signing an apartment lease or surrendering the animal to a shelter. I don’t even want to think of the other option-abandonment. This is on top of now having to pay rent. Cat owners are faced with the emotional turmoil involved for both themselves and their cat, the physical pain they will be forced to inflict on their cat, and the financial expense of the surgery itself. Either that or surrender the cat to a shelter. Or leave it sitting on the doorstep at the place once called “home.” Many are mean or desperate enough to do this.
Hopefully a few will be able to make arrangements for their cat (if they wish) to live with a friend and have visitation rights. This is all so unnecessary when you look at the big picture.
Governor Schwarzenegger stated he vetoed the bill because there was a serious lack of scientific proof about the negative aspects of declawing. Is this the real reason or did financial support from the California Veterinary Medical Profession (PAC)during his campaign sway him? I’m not naming any amount, but take a look at this reference. Can a person be subconsciously persuaded to back an organization who has contributed monetarily to his campaign? Hmm…I’ll leave that decision up to you readers.
Next let us move on to groups who frown on declawing. (2)
2. Humane Society of the United States
3. The Cat Fancier’s Association
4. Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
5. The Association of Veterinarians For Animal Rights
6. Society For Prevention of Cruelty To Animals of Los Angeles
Are all of these groups wrong? I DON’T THINK SO!!!
Next there is the moral ambiguity statement from the American Veterinary Medical Association. The official position statement of the American Veterinary Medical Association regarding digital amputation reads as follows: “Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when their clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s).” There is a LOT of good information in this reference. Although time consuming, I suggest you take the time to read it all. (3)
The California Veterinary Medical Association itself says that it doesn’t take the declawing issue lightly (4). Even if we could go along with their logic for a moment that declawing should only be done as a last resort or for medical reason, lets examine how the veto defeats this purpose.
California veterinarians will be FORCED to declaw cats for the sole reason of a rentor being unable to rent if they own a cat with claws. This isn’t to correct any kind of behavior or scratching issue that already exists. This will be done as a preventive measure by unwilling owners (and cats) simply because 50,000 landlords (who support the governor) refuse to give a cat with claws a chance. If any of this were happening on a human level it would be deemed discrimination!
Twenty-Five countries either ban declawing or consider it extremely inhumane. England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Bosnia, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Yugoslavia, Malta, and Israel.
Governor Arnold Schwartznegger is from Austria-it’s ILLEGAL to declaw a cat in his native country. And he says he needs more proof! Shame on you Arnold!
While I’m at it, here’s a great site for veterinarians who never declaw. Also listed are clinics and vets who push declawing. (5).
I won’t even go into the many veterinary periodicals examining case studies of declawed cats. Nor will I go into the high percentage of declawed cats who are turned into shelters with behavorial problems.And the higher than average euthanasia statistics of surrendered cats with behavorial problems. If Michael wants to add more to this article I invite him to link this article into ones he’s done on the issue.
If cat’s weren’t meant to have claws, they would have been born without them!
The state of California needs to go back in and make it illegal for landlords to demand the cats be declawed. There’s plenty of evidence, testimonial, research, etc. stating the physical and psychological damage done by declawing. Saying there is no proof declawing is bad for a cat is a blatant lie.
If necessary, the wording of the law needs to be presented again in a version the governor can understand.
I’d better end this now. It’s this kind of ignorance that really brings my claws out and runs my blood pressure up.
The HSUS, Cat Fanciers Association, ASPCA, American Animal Hospital Association