Feb. 2021

Here’s a letter of opposition to the 2021 Arizona Anti-declaw bill, HB 2626, from Emily Kane, the Exec. Director of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association. (She is NOT a veterinarian.)


“Dear Representative ______:

I am writing to express my opposition to H.B. 2626 that would prohibit declawing surgeries performed on domestic cats. As the executive director of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association and a cat enthusiast, I would like to provide you with information regarding the reasons why this bill could do more harm than good for cats.

Veterinary care decisions for animals should remain with the veterinarian. While the veterinary profession is moving away from the cat declawing surgeries in favor of counseling clients on alternatives, there remain situations where the procedure is indicated. A ban will surely lead to unintended consequences.

I currently have four cats. I am not a proponent of declawing, but recently my oldest cat has developed kidney issues which will soon require daily fluids under the skin. I know for a fact that she will not be a willing candidate for this life-saving treatment and that the only way for me to administer it, would be to remove her front claws. If she does not get this treatment she will surely die. Without the choice to have her declawed, the only alternatives are to euthanize her, or travel out of state, where the procedure is legal, which seems unfair. Since her prognosis is good as long as she receives treatment, if approved, this bill could impose a premature end to her life and great heartache to my family.

There are other reasons why declawing may be indicated, including the medical conditions of the owner or persons living in the household whose fragile health might be compromised by cat scratches (i.e. skin conditions, hemophilia, etc.). Other animals in the household might also be at risk even during innocent play. (i.e. puppy losing an eye).

What happens to an animal that cannot remain in the home as long as it has its claws?

  1. It could cause the procedure to go underground where unlicensed practitioners can do great harm.
  2. It might be turned out to live on the street.
  3. It might be subject to cruelty by its caregivers.
  4. It might be euthanized.
  5. It might be turned into an animal shelter where prospects for adoption are not good.

The veterinary profession does not support declawing as a routine procedure. However, each situation is unique and the veterinarian and the client are in the best position to make the decision that is in the best interests of that animal. The procedure is safe when performed by a licensed veterinarian, using modern surgery techniques with appropriate after care, and affords cats the opportunity to remain in caring homes and live healthy lives.

Please vote NO on this bill and leave medical decisions to the judgment of the client, who in consultation with a veterinarian and with full informed consent, can make the best decisions for their beloved pet and their entire household. No one loves cats more than I do and I am very concerned about the consequences of banning this procedure. Pet owners making decisions for the pets they love will be best for the health and well-being of cats and their families.  Thank you for your attention and consideration.

Emily Kane

Executive Director

Arizona Veterinary Medical Association

E-mail: ekane@azvma.org

Web: www.azvma.org


Please sign this petition to end declawing in Arizona.  Petition