Digital Free Press
Although it is reportedly illegal in New York state and banned in 40 countries worldwide, throughout the Grand Canyon State the amputation of feline ‘fingers and toes’ is A-OK.
But the Arizona Paw Project aims to change just that.
Several Valley residents are spearheading an effort to ban the practice in throughout Arizona — including of course Scottsdale, Town of Paradise Valley and City of Phoenix — so that no additional cats suffer from this surgical procedure.
Kallie Rose is one volunteer taking on the cause for pets and their claws, she says.
“When I found out that declawing cats was still legal in Arizona, I knew I had to step and take a stand,” she said in a prepared statement. “All our pets are precious, but no other species are subjected to the amputation that cats still endure. While many vets refuse to perform this barbaric surgery, it is still possible to get it done. It’s imperative that we prevent additional suffering.”
The Paw Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in southern California is heading up a nationwide effort, state by state, to make declawing cats illegal, officials there say.
For more than 20 years, the nonprofit advocacy agency has been committed to educating the public, legislators and veterinarians about how this potentially crippling surgical procedure can harm a cat’s physical health. Unsuspecting cat guardians are often unaware that declawing is an amputation of a cat’s toes at the last joint, advocates report.
At The Capitol
As what was first envisioned as Arizona House Bill 2224, then HB2014 is now known within legislator hallways as the “AZ Anti-Declaw Bill, HB2014” has now unanimously passed the Arizona Senate Commerce Committee.
The bill, which would prohibit non-therapeutic declawing, was authored by Arizona Rep. Dr. Amish Shah, a Democrat; and Arizona Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican.
Paw Project Director and Founder Dr. Jennifer Conrad; and Arizona Humane Society CEO, Dr. Steven Hansen, provided testimony at the committee hearing.
The bill must pass both houses of the legislature and be signed by the governor before becoming law.
Unfortunately, there is opposition to the bill, Dr. Shah reports.
“It’s hard to believe that anyone would oppose this bill,” said Dr. Shah, who is also an emergency room physician. “In my mind, there’s no way to rationalize allowing an animal to suffer in this way.”
Ms. Rose echoes a similar sentiment.
“It’s time we get this anti-declaw bill passed. We have the support of veterinarians such as VCA Animal Hospital and Banfield Pet Hospital, who have already banned the practice and our local animal rescue organizations like the Arizona Humane Society,” She said. “More than 70% of people polled are in favor of making declawing illegal; the additional 30% probably just need to be educated, which is what we are trying to do.”