West Hollywood First U.S. City to Ban Cat Declawing
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 15, 2007 (KABC-TV) (KABC) -- The declawing of cats and other animals has always been controversial. Monday, a Southland city began enforcing a ban on the procedure. That city is West Hollywood, where the officials who approved that ban regard declawing as mutilation.
They may not be man's best friend, but cats are getting some extra protection in West Hollywood, that city becoming the first in the country to outlaw the de-clawing of cats.
"It's the amputation of the last bone in every one of a cat's toes. It's one of the most cruel things ever come up with in veterinary medicine," said veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Conrad
The West Hollywood City Council passed the ban four years ago. But the California Veterinary Medical Association challenged it in the courts.
That ended when the California State Supreme Court refused to take up the case.
"Now," the Vet's Association says, "it will be considered 'open season' for cities and counties to regulate veterinary medicine and other licensed professions," stated Jeff Smith, president of California Veterinary Assoc.
"It's an option that we have that maybe prevents the cat from going to the shelter and being abandoned," said veterinarian Dr. Tony Ebling.
Veterinarian Tony Ebling runs one of three clinics affected by the ban. He says declawing is a last resort for many cat owners, who will just go to clinics outside West Hollywood to get their cats declawed.
Many vets say declawing is a last resort option, that there are other things you could do with a cat to keep it from destroying furniture or clawing at people.
Vets say trimming a cat's nails each week will do the trick. Or you can use "Soft Paws," plastic shields that keep the nails from snagging on anything.
West Hollywood Mayor John Duran says now that the declawing ban is a success, the city is looking forward to even more animal protections.
"There are other issues we can explore, ranging from the mutilation of dogs, ear-cropping, tail-docking, de-barking, the removal of different parts of dogs, and other animals that can be protected in the future," said West Hollywood Mayor John Duran.
Duran says now that the court battle is over, other cities like Santa Monica and San Francisco are poised to enact similar declawing bans.
Thanks to West Hollywood, they won't have to start from scratch.
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