Mr Lee, a cat lover, asked Cornell why they won’t support the anti-declawing legislation in NY

A nice supporter and cat lover, Mr Lee, asked me for help so I’m asking all of you to join in.

Mr Lee sent an email with questions about the NY anti-declawing legislation to the Cornell vet , Dr Paul Maza, who was at the Cornell Feline Health Center’s booth at CatCon on August 12, 2017.

Dr Maza forwarded the email to the Ass. Director of the Cornell Feline Health Center, Dr Bruce Kornreich.

Dr Kornreich responded to Mr Lee’s questions in an email and said that Mr Lee could reach out to him if he needed anymore assistance, so he did but Mr Kornreich never responded.

This is where you come in. Can you please respectfully reach out to Mr Kornreich and the other Cornell vetmed bigwigs and ask them to please answer Mr Lee’s important questions and send the studies that back up Mr Kornreich’s comments. Also please ask them what the Feline Health Center really did with Rhoda Hogan’s $125,000 bequest that was to go to helping to end declawing and to support legislation that would ban it. Petition and story about Rhoda Hogan’s bequest that Cornell received

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Here is Mr Lee’s first email.

Dear Dr. Maza,
How are you today?
Many anti-declaw advocates, including myself, would like to know why Cornell does not support the bill in legislature that will ban declawing. One would think Cornell would support the bill to ban declawing because Cornell is a prestigious veterinary college and one would think Cornell would try to help end this outdated barbaric cruelty that benefits veterinarians only, not cats. Thank you in advance for your answer, please do not send me a canned response, I am human, not a robot.Sincerely,
David Lee
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Here is Mr Kornreich’s response.

Hi Mr. Lee,

Thank you for contacting Dr. Maza re: this controversial legislation, and I am taking the opportunity to reply to you, as Dr. Maza kindly agreed to attend CatCon to represent us, as I had previous plans that precluded my being able to attend.

I hope you had a great time at Cat Con and that you learned lots while doing so. CatCon is really pretty amazing in terms of the dedication of the event organizers and attendee dedication to and interest in cats. We appreciate the opportunity to interact with the cat loving public at such an event, and we also very much appreciate the passion of cat lovers like you. We share your passionate concern for the well-being of cats, and we take our mission of improving the lives of all cats very seriously.

Unfortunately, we cannot comment upon pending legislation. It is important for you to understand, though, that this does not mean that we support declawing as a primary means of addressing destructive scratching in cats. Quite the contrary..we strongly recommend and promote the use of non-surgical means of addressing scratching in cats (i.e. behavior modification, nail caps, scratching posts) before ever considering declawing, and we feel that the only time that declawing should be considered is when all other means of preventing destructive scratching have been attempted and a cat is at risk of being surrendered/euthanized and/or the health of a person within the household may be at risk for health problems in the event of cat scratches.

Unfortunately, some people have mistakenly interpreted our inability to comment upon pending legislation as a blanket approval of the application of declawing to any and all situations, and this is simply not the case. I trust that you can understand the distinction between these two perspectives, and that all is well with you and yours.

Please feel free to contact me if I can ever be of any assistance to you and your kitties, and I hope that you are having a wonderful summer.

Best,

Bruce

Bruce G. Kornreich DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Associate Director, Cornell Feline Health Center, Cardiologist, Department of Clinical Sciences

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Here is Mr Lee’s excellent response with some very important questions. He never received any answers from Mr Kornreich.

Dear Bruce,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I assume that you have data behind these statements. I would appreciate seeing it.

I think the fact that no major human health organization, and that includes the CDC, NIH and USPHS, as well as the prominent animal health organizations, AAHA and AAFP, all advise against declawing cats to protect human health, that they’d be very interested in your compelling data that say that declawing might be necessary to protect human health.

Please do send me those papers.

Also, it’s interesting that Cornell would say that declawing a cat prevents it from losing its home. Again, I would very much like to see those data from your shelters. You are probably aware that Cornell’s data differ markedly from that of North Shore Animal League and 50 other shelters in New York State. They are all signed on to support the bill to ban declawing.
They feel that declawing causes cats to lose their homes. Cornell’s shelters must be very different from theirs. That is so interesting!

Your shelter also doesn’t seem to have had the same experience as the shelters in California where declawing has been banned for about 8 years. Their data show marked decreases in owner relinquished cats.

The head of Los Angeles Animal Services attributes the decline in the number of owned cats losing their homes directly to the declaw ban. This, by the way, amounts to over 40,000 cats’ lives saved. The reason for less dumping? Fewer people are fed up with cats biting or having box aversion. It is interesting that Cornell’s shelter hasn’t experienced the same phenomenon that ALL the declaw ban shelters in California have. Please share those data.

I believe that you could be a leader here if you wanted to. One day, declawing will be illegal in NYS and you’ll probably share in the celebration saying that Cornell has always been against declawing.

But really, have you?

Looking forward to seeing your facts.
All the best.
David Lee

——————————————————————————————————————————Please send a respectful email to all these influential feline folks at Cornell and try to get an answer for Mr Lee to all his very important questions. If it’s easier, you can just copy the link to this story and send it to them and ask them to answer Mr Lee’s questions.

bgk2@cornell.edu Bruce Kornreich, Ass. Director of Cornell Feline Health Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, Diplomate – American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology)

lms428@cornell.edu   Luis M. Schang, MV, PhD
Director, Cornell Feline Health Center and Baker Institute for Animal Health

cuvetce@cornell.edu Meg Thompson, DVM, DACVR, Director of Continuing Education

psm26@cornell.edu Paul Maza, DVM, PhD Department of Biomedical Sciences, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy

Vet-hosp@cornell.edu  General Cornell Vet Hospital e-mail

FHC@cornell.edu  Cornell Feline Health Center


PLEASE SIGN MY PETITION TO CORNELL SO WE CAN GET AN ANSWER AS TO WHAT THEY REALLY DID WITH MRS RHODA HOGAN’S $125,000 BEQUEST IN 2007. IT TAKES 30 SECONDS TO SIGN IT. PETITION TO CORNELL

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Also, Mr Kornreich was quoted as saying that declawing, “might cause some degree of discomfort” in a 2016 news story about the anti-declawing bill in NY. Here is a quote from the story and link to it.

“Though he declined to comment on the pending legislation, Kornreich pushed back against activists’ claim that declawing is painful and unsafe.

“It might cause some degree of discomfort, but that is expected of all surgical procedures,” said Kornreich. He said that the vast majority of declawed cats recover from post-operative complications.”

Ithaca Voice Story