Do you support declaw bans? Read two views

Do you support declaw bans? Read two views

Two team members sound off about the recent California declaw bans.
Jan 01, 2010

No. I never thought I'd be a law-breaker, but today I came close. If my hospital was 30 miles north of our location, the feline declaw surgery done within our walls would've been illegal. Since I let it take place, I could've faced a misdemeanor and jail time. Recently, eight California cities voted to make declawing a crime. Thankfully, declawing is still legal in Huntington Beach.

Leslie Boudreau, RVT
I don't necessarily support declawing, but rather I support veterinary medical professionals determining which procedures are ethical and humane. Putting medical decisions in bureaucratic hands is a slippery slope. Who's to say a cystocentesis won't be the next procedure outlawed?

Although my current cats all have their claws, I've had cats declawed. A doctor's excellent surgical techniques coupled with a modern pain protocol—both of which should be requirements of any procedure—allowed my declawed kitties to enjoy quick, pain-free recoveries with no adverse effects. These cats lived long, happy lives.

Why did I declaw? Even with frequent nail trims and multiple scratching posts, my cats clawed up my roommate's things. My landlord warned that I faced eviction if the cats damaged the rented living space. Neither willing to turn my cats into a meal for the hungry coyotes lurking in my neighborhood nor to give them to a shelter, I had them declawed.

These are two of the many valid reasons why owners declaw. Arbitrary bans only confuse these clients. And they increase the risk of cats being relinquished. Shelters are already inundated with cats. How can euthanasia be more acceptable than living without claws that a cat doesn't even know are missing? Instead of banning declawing, veterinarians and pet owners who morally object to the surgery can choose not to perform it. Prohibiting certain procedures could land veterinarians and their staff in jail for performing services the profession has deemed acceptable. If these bans continue, look for my mug shot on America's Most Wanted.

Leslie Boudreau, RVT, Animal Hospital of Huntington Beach, practice manager Huntington Beach, Calif.