Update Oct. 2018. We wanted to see if any more of these 10 finalists stopped declawing. Here’s what we found- Did they do better when they knew better?
CITY THE KITTY OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT REGARDING
THE AMERICA’S FAVORITE VETERINARIAN CONTEST IN 2015.
September 12, 2015—City the Kitty, the internet’s beloved 13 lb. orange Manx and polydactyl cat, learned on August 14, 2015 about the AVMA/AVMF’s America’s Favorite Veterinarian contest with 13 days left in the voting.
You know how curious cats can be; he wondered how many vets in the top 10 declawed kitties.
His mom called each of the top ten practices to say she wanted to get her cat declawed on all four paws. She found only one veterinarian among the 10 who did not declaw cats.
City the Kitty asked his followers to vote for this one vet who honors the oath he took to ease the suffering in animals and heal them and not maim, disable, and inhumanely amputate cats’ toe bones and claws.
City the Kitty made the announcement on August 20th to vote for Dr. Gary Richter. At no point did he ever ask anyone to attack the other vets. This was simply a positive way to show our support for a vet who is a true advocate for animals.
A few days into the contest, City got word that some anti-declawing activists were saying inappropriate things to one of the veterinarians. In a passionate plea on his Facebook page, he immediately asked those responsible for this to cease.
We do not condone this type of behavior and stand firmly on a higher ground philosophy that educates and inspires others to stop declawing.
On Aug. 26, 2015, the AVMF cancelled the contest and issued a press release with this reason. “The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) today decided, reluctantly, to halt its America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest and declare all 20 finalists “America’s Favorite Veterinarians” following a vicious cyber-bullying attack which disrupted and contaminated the final election process.
A slew of inaccurate articles began to emerge in the media. I would like to clear some things up here:
FALSE: The AVMF sent out a press release to the finalists following the contest’s cancellation, and said: “The leader of the campaign contacted all of the top 10 finalists’ clinics… (and) judged the finalists according to her perception of their stance on declawing… This group intends to take a friendly competition among respected colleagues and twist it into a platform for their agenda and aggressive tactics, They have called the contestants’ clinics, making offensive statements and distracting the clinic staff from performing their duties.”
FACT: City the Kitty’s mom’s calls to the practices were NOT to judge. They were simply to find out if any of the finalists did not declaw cats so that we could vote for them and put a vet in the number one position who would be a great champion and role model and also hopefully inspire other vets to stop performing this inhumane surgery.
FALSE: The AVMF in addressing comments on their Facebook pages defended the other nine veterinarians by saying they counsel their clients against declawing and strongly emphasize alternatives.
FACT: In the phone calls to the top ten contestants, six of the 9 vets or their employees on the phone never offered any counseling against declawing and at no time did they offer any humane alternatives. They simply stated the price of the procedure, asked what day of the week you want to bring in the cat, instructed that a health exam and blood test would be needed, and explained things like, “their paws would be a little sensitive afterwards, that they were very skilled in the use of the laser to declaw the kitty and that it is less traumatic and easier on the paws.”
AVMA stated, “Activists opposed to cat declawing “hijacked” the contest, resorting to cyber-bullying the majority of the contest finalists, those who believe that declawing cats remains a last-resort, but viable, alternative to separating pets from their owners when the animal’s behavior cannot be controlled any other way. One contestant, for example, was called “a whore, a butcher, a mutilator, a hack, an animal hater, a disgrace to the profession.” Other contestants were subjected to the circulation of fraudulent negative advertisements, negative reviews, and threatening phone calls.” From the AVMA.org website. https://atwork.avma.org/2015/08/26/americas-favorite-veterinarian-contest-canceled-due-to-cyberbullying-of-contestants/
FACT- A small handful of people who were against declawing wrote things like, “Stop declawing” on a few of the top ten contestants facebook pages. Most of the top ten contestants did not have any “cyber-bullying” attacks or negative comments on their facebook pages from the anti-declawing side. More about this contest- https://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/2015/10/veterinarian_contest_ruined_in.html
City the Kitty wishes to thank the hundreds, if not thousands, of supporters who voted for Dr. Richter. We conducted ourselves with grace and will continue to advocate for the millions of kitties who do not have a voice in this declawing debate.
For more information on City the Kitty visit www.citythekitty.org or contact City at CityTheKitty@gmail.com