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New York to Become First State to Ban Cat Declawing

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The New York State Senate and Assembly passed legislation last week to ban cat declawing, which has long been criticized by animal advocacy groups. Although declawing is already outlawed in a handful of cities—including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver—New York would be the first state in the country to ban the practice.

Kitties throughout New York are already jumping for joy at the prospect.

 The procedure is described as an "amputation" by the American Veterinary Medical Association. "Declawing a cat is not like getting a mani/pedi, it's a brutal surgical procedure that involves removing the first bone of the cat's toe and part of the tendons and muscles," Assembly member Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), who has been pushing this legislation since 2015, said in a statement. She added, "The days when this procedure is cavalierly offered for the convenience of the owners to protect couches and curtain are numbered."

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) adds, "Cat declawing is a brutal procedure similar to severing a human finger at the first knuckle and has lifelong ramifications for cats. I am proud of the Senate's emphasis on animal welfare and I am pleased we passed this important proposal."

Now the bill must be submitted to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who will have 10 days to sign it after it reaches his desk.  A spokesperson for his office has confirmed that Cuomo is reviewing the bill now.

It is believed that 25% of cats in the U.S. are declawed.

 

The ASPCA, which is opposed to cat declawing for the sake of protecting furniture, explains, "Cats' claws are a vital part of their arsenal for both offense and defense. They use them to capture prey and to settle disputes with or escape from other animals or people who are hurting or threatening them. As part of their daily rituals, cats instinctually pull the claws on their front paws through surfaces that offer resistance. They do this to mark their territory, exercise muscles normally used in hunting, relieve stress and remove worn sheaths from their nails."

The New York Veterinary Medical Society opposed the bill, saying declawing should be left available as a last resort: "Medical decisions should be left to the sound discretion of fully trained, licensed and state supervised professionals."

State Senator Robert Antonacci (R-Syracuse) said he opposes the bill: "I don't think government should be involved. I think we should leave it to the vets and the owners." But fellow Republican State Senator James Tedisco (Adirondacks) supported the ban. According to the NY Times, Tedisco, who brought his Corgi to Albany, said, "Animals give us unconditional love. I think that this is the most nonpartisan day we have in the New York State Legislature."

We here at HiHomer.com firmly believe that paws need claws!  We'll keep you posted as Governor Cuomo reaches his final decision. 

Share this story with your furiends! 

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