Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ready mutilated cats, saves new owners from mutilating

I read HERE with horror just recently that the Environmental, Education, Health and Welfare Committee of Macon County, Illinois, are considering giving pet adopters the option of having a cat declawed (or a dog's dewclaws removed) before taking their new pet home from the County Animal Control and Care Center (now that they have a full time vet’s wages to justify). In fact the board voted 8-0 in favour of this and the only thing they have yet to agree on is the fee, which they have said would cover the cost of “doing two paws”. They seem to think that by doing this they are stopping the adopter from going to another vet for the declawing and that they are saving the cat the trauma of a further anaesthetic and major operation by declawing at the same time as neutering them (they are also assuming the animal is not already neutered)

And they are assuming that the majority of adopters want a declawed cat.

I have mixed feelings about dog dewclaw removal, one the one hand I don’t agree with surgery, for the sake of it and because of tradition, but on the other hand I have witnessed dogs with their dewclaws torn off accidentally so I think that dewclaw removal is very much a decision to be made for the benefit of the individual dog (NOT the owner) although I really don’t think they should be whipped off as part of the adoption process.

Regarding the routine declawing of cats though I think that at a time when more people are realising that it is simply not acceptable this is an outrageous step to take and one that should be protested against vehemently, but will anyone bother to protest? Last time I looked only three people had commented on the press notice, one brilliant comment from a veterinarian in the USA and two regular “ban declawing” campaigners from the UK!

Why, instead of encouraging, in fact offering, the mutilation of the paws of already confused and possibly traumatised cats, can’t the center spend the money on educating would-be owners about the physical and emotional need for cats to keep the claws they were born with? Why can’t they give them a good solid scratching post to take home with them? Why do cats have to lose a third of each of their two front paws to make them acceptable to people who, if they cannot accept a cat the way nature made it, have no right to adopt a cat in the first place?

Anyway, having made my comment on the press notice it stayed in my mind and made me think about my own cats and their precious toes, and it made me imagine a nightmare scenario that thankfully could never happen to them because, although we have many worries now that we have a coalition government lead by a blood crazy hunter, thankfully declawing cats is banned here and will remain so.

My sister and I live together and we have two (neutered) cats who we absolutely adore, we rejoice in their health and wholeness and although we worry about them constantly when they are outdoors we want them to live, and enjoy, their lives as cats should (well as every living creature should, but PM Cameron won’t agree with me there). Although we dread the days when we lose our two precious boys we dread even more the thought of both of us falling off our twigs before they both do leaving one or both of them “orphaned” and reliant on someone taking them in. So we are members of the Cinnamon Trust which means that if they are left behind our boys will be assured of kind and sympathetic care for the rest of their natural lives, given their age now they would probably stay at the sanctuary for the rest of their lives, but the sanctuary is almost a home from home, almost but not quite of course because we would not be there with them and they’ve never known life without us.

But what if we lived in the USA? We couldn’t be members of the Cinnamon Trust in England, so we couldn’t make provision for their futures. So imagine a scenario where my sister and I were suddenly both deceased. Our two bereaved boys who have been cared for as family all their lives may be taken in to an “Animal Control and Care Centre”, they would be confused, they would be frightened, they would be missing us, their familiar home, their toys, their beds, their garden, their regular brands of food, their treats of cooked meats and squirty cream. They would be missing their special games, their individual preferences of grooming, the things we sing to them, they would be missing sitting beside us in our computer chairs while we perch on kitchen chairs to write blogs and protests. They would be missing their scratching posts, their wooden built Catnasium and the trees in our garden. They would be caged, (if they were not euthanized as unrehomeable because of their age) they would be viewed and possibly one or both may be chosen to be adopted.

Bless them, if they weren’t miserable enough by then, did they but know it their troubles were only just starting!!

To imagine one or both of our boys taken from a cage and held by strangers while pre-op pain relief was administered by injection into the paws, taken into surgery and anaesthetised, their paws held up and their precious toes either sliced or burnt off and their bodies being subject to a battering from pain relief equivalent in strength to that given to terminally ill humans makes me feel physically ill.

As does imagining them coming round from the anaesthetic, confused, bandaged, caged and hurting like hell. A cat with bandaged paws thrashes them around anyway, one of ours did when he cut his paw badly and had to have a stitch in it, add to that the pain of ten amputations and it’s easy to believe the truth of the quote from the vet tech about cats throwing themselves, screaming with pain, around the recovery cages.

Who on this Earth thought up the idea of declawing? What monster practiced, unto perfection, removing the last part of a cat’s toes until they could routinely remove a cats claws to make him/her acceptable to the American public and then made public the knowledge how to do it and the availability of it? (And what about the live cats he/she practiced on having experimented on dead cats first, what sort of state were their paws left in?)

And who in Macon County Animal Control and Care Centre gives a toss for those poor rejected creatures that find themselves homeless and at the mercy of plans such as this one!!!!!


  1. That is horrific news. So these poor cats will be traumatized as they enter their new homes, and try to adjust to life as deformed and mutilated felines. Oh, this couldn't be more of a step in the WRONG direction. So disheartening.

  2. A very well written blog Babz, exposing the truth! This is absolutely disgraceful and I've written to that shelter and told them so.
    Instead of encouraging declawing, the shelter should be educating people as to how cruel it is and should be providing them with scratching posts for the adopted cat instead of having them mutilated on their behalf.
    What is wrong with some people that they think cats shouldn't keep the toe ends/claws they were born with ? They really should not have a cat in their homes.
    What is wrong with some vets too who continue to amputate cats toe ends? They must know the rest of the civilised world are shocked and disgusted at their pre meditated abuse of those poor cats.

  3. I wonder which vet convinced them that offering declawing as part of the adoption package was a good idea? Medical evidence proves declawing is cruel, and the statistical data disproves the myth that declawed cats are guaranteed a home for life. So why are Macon County choosing to ignore these facts?

    Banning declawing is the only way to stop unscrupulous vets profiting from the misery of cats, rabbits and all the other poor animals whose owners seem to think that claws are an optional extra.

    Michele (UK)

  4. I find it deplorable and unbelievable! Can you imagine the Cats Protection League for example in England promoting such stuff. Where the hell do these people get their ideas?

    These cats are sensitive perceptive creatures already traumatised by finding themselves caged after probably being thrown out. Why would anyone then want to go on and cripple them?

    Whats wrong with you!!! Stop it now!!