By 2007 Rhoda Hogan had died and her will contained a bequest of US$125,000 to Cornell Feline Health Center (Cornell). The purpose was for them to educate the public and to advocate and support new laws to ban declawing. These are the exact words:
“An organization to be used to publicize and educate the public about the cruel effect of de-clawing cats and to support legislation forbidding it.”A clause from Rhoda Horgan’s will
Cornell made a series of videos and I am told that the video published on YouTube on April 15th 2016 is the result of their efforts in spending $100,000. We don’t know what happened to the other $25,000 and looking at the video which is meant to have several parts but has an introduction and nothing else I can only conclude that Ms Hogan has been conned.
The video has barely been seen (297 views), is poor quality and weak in its argument. It lacks passion and drive and does not decry declawing.
We have the words of the person who made the video.
“I don’t even remember if I was paid to do the videos but if I was it was only a few hundred dollars for my time. We did the video in two days.”
Well, I think we can say with complete confidence that Cornell broke their promise to Hogan and have spent the money in some other way.
Further I am told that Cornell have not, as far as we are aware, supported legislation to ban declawing. For instance they did not support the recent bill which passed NY state’s legislature.
Finally, the official position of Cornell on declawing is wishy-washy and ambivalent. It should say that declawing should not take place for non-therapeutic purposes but instead they say that it could take place for non-therapeutic purposes if the veterinarian says so. It even hints at the possibility that it is okay to declaw if a cat scratches the sofa and it can’t be stopped. As most vets want to do declawing operations and therefore encourage it, Cornell’s position statement is hopelessly inadequate and worse than useless.
Cornell’s Statement on Declawing
“Declawing is an elective and highly controversial surgical procedure that is the topic of considerable debate among cat owners and veterinary professionals. Despite its name, declawing is actually an amputation of the bones at the tips of the paws, not a simple removal of the nails. Like any other surgical procedure, declawing carries the risk of anesthetic complications, infection, bleeding, and, in rare cases, more long-term problems.
Declawing will not curb your cat’s desire to scratch, but will prevent the damage resulting from the behavior. Declawed cats should never be allowed outside, as they are less able to climb trees or to defend themselves. Thoughtful consultation with your veterinarian is recommended if you are considering this procedure for your cat.
Declawing should be considered only as an absolute last resort when all other strategies are unsuccessful, and only in cases in which a cat’s scratching would necessitate removal from the home.”
Source: City the Kitty’s Change.org petition.