(Silver Creek, NY, USA)
I have worked as a veterinary technician in the US for over 20 years. Most of my career has been spent in shelter medicine and rescue work, therefore, I have seen horrors that no one should have to witness, and NO animal should have to suffer. I have gone undercover in puppy mills, broken up Pit Bull fighting rings, and rescued thousands of unwanted and abused fur kids. I have had to, unfortunately, euthanize many as well.
None of these things that I have witnessed compare to the practice of declawing. Why? Most abuse and neglect that animals suffer is at the hands of people who either do not know any better, or are just the lowest forms of society, void of all morals and ethics. Declawing is done by those who have taken an oath to protect them…to do no harm. The veterinarians.
Like the abused child who fears the very people who are supposed to care for them and protect them, their parents, veterinarians are doing the same to the animals they have sworn to care for and protect.It is the worst form of cruelty.
I have heard many arguments over the years for, and against, this procedure. What I have heard most from the pro-mutilation set is about their “right” to do as they see fit with their pets. The old adage of “ownership” is still alive and well. With this, I firmly disagree. An animal cannot be compared with a sofa, or a lamp, or a pair of shoes. They are living, breathing beings. Do you think most people feel that they “Own” their children? I have 4, and my answer is no, of course not. They are merely on “loan” to us to raise and teach and care for, until they grow up to have lives of their own. Why then do we, as humans, feel that we own these creatures?
One comment I recently read from a group that is pro-mutilation, is that they are “…
for animal welfare, NOT animal rights…” It infurates me that we humans seem to think we are the only ones that have any rights. Why? Because we have opposable thumbs? They too should have “certain inalienable rights”:
*The right to be supplied with adequate food and shelter by the humans who choose to take them into their homes.
*The right to be treated fairly and not be subjected to abuse.
*The right to quality medical care and emergency care when necessary.
*The right to live life free from pain, torment and mutilation.
Humans are really not all that wonderful. We need to rethink the term “humankind”…there is really nothing kind about most of us.
This may be familiar to some of you, and the main character is a dog, but i think it certainly pertains to cats as well:
When I was a young veterinarian, I made a house call to a family who was losing their best friend. I came into the house and prepared to euthanize the family dog. The mother was very upset and kept saying..”Its not fair. Why do you have to go so soon, its just not right” Their 8 year old son was sitting next to his mom and he said, ” You know how in church they say that we are put on this earth to learn to love unconditionally, to be kind to each other and forgiving of others? Well dogs already know how to do that so they dont have to stay as long.”
We have much to learn from our furry friends and it seems we give them absolutely nothing in return. Treat your pets as members of your family, because they are. You would not cut off the tips of your 3 year old childs fingers because they drew on the walls with crayon. Why, in the name of all that is right, would you cut off your cats “fingers” because they are doing what is natural to them? And it all starts with our veterinary community. If you walked into a doctors office and asked the doctor to cut off your childs fingers because they are destroying things in your home..they would be appalled, and they would call child services. Vets need to knock off the lame excuse that “If I dont declaw they will euthanize their cat.” or “If I dont declaw, they will surrender their cat to a shelter.” Fine…you then tell that client that your technician is currently on the phone with the SPCA, and because you are obviously an unfit parent, we will be removing your cat from you. Pretty simple really.
People believe what those who have degrees on their wall tell them. My dear doctors, it all starts with YOU. Stand up for those you have sworn to protect. Educate…dont mutilate.