Story Published on Sept. 25, 2020
We received this note from the director of the Humane Society of Midland, MI.
Declawing veterinarians and organizations that use the weak excuse that declawing keeps a cat in a home are deceiving the public and are not accepting reality.
Declawing does not guarantee a cat will stay in a home, in fact, the opposite often happens and declawed cats are thrown away because of the behavioral issues they develop from their toe bone amputations. Many are euthanized because they can’t find new homes.
Here’s the director’s note.
“There are no words to describe my ongoing frustrations at veterinarians who declaw and those who follow them.
Declawing cats does NOT keep them in their homes.
I have been employed with animal shelters for 23 years, the entire time I have had beautiful healthy cats surrendered that are declawed for behavior issues. Many of those cats have been euthanized due to their behavior issues not being able to be rectified.
Cats with claws have fewer behavior issues and have more options for safe rehoming than cats without claws.
I run an open intake small facility, the only facility in the county. We have a 99% placement rate and do everything humanly possible for all of the animals we take in.
Currently I have 19 adult cats, 31% of those cats are declawed (6) and all six of those cats are primarily unadoptable.
Four of them will not use the litter box at all, but are extremely sweet.
One is very reactive/defensive and unhandleable, and one is 15 years old but should be able to find a retirement home (hopefully).
Two of the cats have already had bone fragments and regrowth removed from their paws, the others we are still working on get in for exams/options.
The two that have had the surgery still aren’t using their boxes and we are trying prozac to help retrain their brains not to associate the litter box with pain.
NONE of this should have to be happening! I take in 1500 cats/year resources, gas, time, effort should not have to be used to repair what never should have happened!
It is not these cat’s fault that they are reacting to their pain and suffering as they are and after suffering for years, they deserve to get whatever pain free life we can offer them but to what end?
I do realize I’m “preaching to the choir” with you but as a Director of an open intake facility declawing cats does NOT keep them in homes or find them homes.
We haven’t allowed cats to be declawed that have been adopted from us and it has not diminished our placement rates or our capacity one iota.
Cats do not sit with us longer than before, I have not done reduced intake,
I have not been too full to take in a cat in our community, nothing has changed except that I can sleep a bit better at night knowing that they are living their best lives with all of their toes intact.
Thank you for continuing your fight!
Humane Society of Midland County
Nail and bone fragments that were removed from Nancy’s paws
Circle, a 4 paw declawed cat, came in as a stray in April of 2020. They posted everywhere and were unable to find an owner. After stray hold she was adopted but returned quickly due to litter box aversion. X-Rays and exam showed issues in all 4 feet and she had reconstructive surgery to try to remove that excess and reattach tendons. Unfortunately as of now she still has complete litter box aversion, she’s on pain meds and is now on prozac to try to retrain her brain to use the litter box in order to find a home.
Salsa, a 6 year old spayed female beautiful calico cat. Salsa came in as a stray in January of 2020, they posted her picture everywhere and looked for an owner, when no owner was found she went up for adoption. The adopter had her for several months but Salsa would not use the litter box and had no other health issue like a UTI, Parasites, Infection, etc no reason could be found except for being 4 paw declawed. Now she’s on cosequin and we are working with her trying to get her to use a litter box, waiting for a consult for her feet to be checked for regrowth.
The Michigan anti-Declawing Bill is being squashed by ONE woman, State Representative Julie Alexander
She won’t bring this cat protection bill up for a hearing even though it has a record 20 co-sponsors and has a good chance of passing.
Julie is the chair of the Ag committee and she doesn’t seem to understand how important this is. 😿 Maybe she doesn’t care about cats but it’s WRONG for one person to be able to shut the door on this important animal welfare bill.Do you want to help her see the light?
Write to her (only if you’re a Michigan resident).
Tell her to do what’s right in a polite email. Send her this story.
Tell her to let the legislators decide.
Please send a polite note to the ASPCA and ask them to update their antiquated declawing position statement and be on the side of cats and not declawing veterinarians. firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com