Michigan law makers favor dogs over cats

Michigan lawmakers

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

I notice that the lawmakers of Michigan are discussing the introduction of two laws relating to our pet cats and dogs which indicate that they are unwittingly species biased in favour of dogs.

For cats, they have House Bill number 6030 (introduced by Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D)). If it became law it would require all Michigan veterinarians performing declawing operations on cats to provide the cat’s owner with informational material on the operation (provided by the Department of Health and Human Resources). This would hope to plug the current hole in veterinarians failing to properly tell cat owners what the declawing operation entails. A high proportion of cat owners are blissfully unaware that it entails the partial amputation of ten toes.

This law would be good although less good than a complete ban on declawing.

For dogs, the law makers of Michigan are discussing an equally controversial and unnecessary operation conducted for non-therapeutic reasons: debarking (House Bill 6031 – Introduced by Rep. Tim Sneller (D)). They want to ban this operation unless it is for therapeutic reasons. This would stop owners debarking dogs for their convenience.

So for dogs they want to ban debarking but for cats they don’t want to ban declawing. Can you see the problem? The operations are very similar in terms of their non-therapeutic aspect and convenience to the owner and yet the cat gets lets protection from the law.

I call this speciesism: favouring one animal species over another; in this case dogs over cats. It is not uncommon to see this with respect to cats and dogs. Cats don’t do themselves any favours as they are seen as ‘independent’ and ‘aloof’ by those who don’t understand them. This weakens the desire to protect them.

Incidentally both bills are ‘parked’ at the committee stage with no further action at this time. New law moves very slowly if at all.

Source of info re. law changes: Mackinac Center For Public Policy.

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5 thoughts on “Michigan law makers favor dogs over cats”

  1. Shelters should be forced to allocate matching funds for cats and dogs. It’s as simple as that.
    Here dogs get the lions share and cats are simply declared feral and killed.

    • I guess you see the disparity between cats and dogs. Reading as I do a lot of information and stories about cats I don’t see the cat getting a fair share of respect.

      • Dogs in shelters generally have a kennel and a bed and toys are provided. I’m talking about normal public shelters not ones in places that no animal should end up in.
        Cats get put in stacked cages where often the only choice is to lay in their food or a poorly equipped litter box.
        Adoption events favor dogs. Fundraisers favor dogs. Their websites almost always favor dogs although the Albuquerque public shelters do tend to highlight adoptable cats as often as dogs and in fact featured cat adoption in one of their TV commercials. In fact no dog is seen or mentioned in the entire commercial. I can’t find it on youtube. It shows a man who is sad and lonely and trying to get his toaster to play with the feather wand and he goes and gets a cat and they are best friends and play together. Sounds corny and it is but I was so damn happy to see nothing but cats featured for that 60 seconds. Also the cat was featured as a great companion animal. Albuquerque has the Heart Ordinance and the difference in animal welfare becomes more striking every year it’s in effect. They also place strays and semi feral cats that will likely not adapt to living in a home easily with businesses that want a cat on duty. I believe there are two programs with different target adopters.


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