Skip to main content

Declawing of cats should remain a client/veterinarian discussion only

June 12, 2019 05:15 am

To The editor:

We have been made aware that Bill S05532-B, relating to the prohibition of the declawing of cats, has been passed to the Governor’s desk.

As a compassionate and pragmatic animal welfare organization servicing Columbia and Greene Counties since 1955, we feel very strongly that the government should not enter the private domain of a veterinary office. The relationship between client and veterinarian should be sacrosanct regarding all matters relating to an animal’s health and well-being. The above referenced procedure is, in fact, solely an in-house veterinary surgical procedure, and this is where the discussion and decision should remain. We therefore strongly disagree with this proposal.

For the record, a number of feline adopters who are senior citizens, some who suffer from HIV, hemophilia, diabetes, and other bleeding and skin-related disorders would not be able to enjoy the comfort of a feline companion without them being declawed. Nail clipping and claw caps have not proven consistently successful in these situations. Additionally, an informal phone poll of veterinarians servicing Columbia and Greene Counties revealed that cat declaw surgeries are infrequent.

As a zero-euthanasia animal welfare facility since 2000, we must state that some of our adopting households have chosen declaw surgery for their felines, with satisfactory and successful results. Although we do not condone or condemn the procedure, we reiterate that this is, and should remain, a client/veterinarian discussion only.

Charlene Marchand and Ronald Perez

Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA