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Old December 22nd, 2010, 12:25 PM
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The declawing issue - should it be legal?

So last night I got a phone call from a friend of a customer of mine. The customer knows I have some older kittens up for adoption and told her friend. She was aware they would need some time to settle and some socialization and was willing to work with that. The boys are great. The girls are a little shyer. We were having a great talk about indoor only unless supervised, nutrition, etc. etc. and were at the point where I was about to set up a time for her to come check out the kittens when she mentioned making an appt with her vet to have whichever one she chose checked and declawed.

That's when things went downhill.

I told her North America was the only civilized country that still allowed declawing and even then, many places are working to have it banned for being an inhumane practice. The information is all over the web. All you have to do is google it. I told her about the possible ramifications of declawing - behavioural, health issues, defense, etc. I gave her options for declawing. I explained that a cat can be taught not to claw furniture with time and patience. I even offered to come over once a week to trim the claws so they weren't as sharp. I told her about Pedipaws and soft claws. Nope. She was adamant the kitten would be declawed. I wished her well but told her I could not in good conscience adopt to her knowing that the cat would be losing it's foot up to it's first knuckle. I hope I gave her something to ponder.

So I guess now my question is - Do I as the adopter have the right to turn down someone who wants to declaw? Personally I feel if you value your furniture more than you value the well being of your cat then you should not have a cat.
And also - how many see declawing as a barbaric custom which should be outlawed period?
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Last edited by 14+kitties; December 22nd, 2010 at 12:36 PM.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post


So I guess now my question is - Do I as the adopter have the right to turn down someone who wants to declaw?
Holy crap 14+ , you don't even have to ask ... of course you do have the right to turn them down ! All cat rescues here are against declawing and will turn down adopters who would want to do this to their rescue cat. Also , it may still be legal here in Canada BUT , many vets are now refusing to do this !

I had the same convo with a cousin of mine , his stupid GF was against everything I was saying and even blocked me on her FB , like I give a stupid crap !!
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 12:41 PM
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Thanks Frenchy! I have been pondering that since the phone call last night. I know I could never adopt to someone who wanted to do that. It's horrendous.
Thanks for posting that pic. I've never seen that one. I have explained to many people, including the lady last night, what declawing does. But it doesn't seem to hit home with some.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
So I guess now my question is - Do I as the adopter have the right to turn down someone who wants to declaw? Personally I feel if you value your furniture more than you value the well being of your cat then you should not have a cat.
And also - how many see declawing as a barbaric custom which should be outlawed period?
Yes to both! Of course you have every right to deny her a kitten knowing she will declaw, you are the one caring for those kitties now and the one responsible to find proper homes (and 'proper' homes are up to you...it's not like there is a guideline for non hs adoptions- is there even for hs adoptions?)

And after seeing first hand what happened with poor Cordelia 8 years after being declawed (before I knew better)....I will never ever do that to a cat again.... and strongly believe no vet should be performing such a cruel and unnecessary procedure.

Oh and I shared that one on my facebook too Frenchy when you posted it there....that really gets the point across I think.

And ya, hubby and I went to buy a leather set when Bricks was having a big sale.....we were sitting on the one we wanted in the store...and said to each other, you realize this is only gonna look this good in the store....the cats are gonna claw it accidentally or on purpose and there's nothing we can do about it. And we decided to buy it anyway....sure enough first night Buddy fell off the back of the loveseat and clawed a big section...stuffing out and all....and all I checked was to see if he was ok. I mean ya I was hoping they'd last longer than 4 hours, but what can ya do? They are still super comfy couches...and 4 years later are riddled with scratches and rips....do I care? nope, not one bit.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 12:56 PM
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Absolutely declawing should NOT be legal. And you are totally right to turn down potential adopters who plan to declaw . Most rescue organizations that care one iota about cats do the same.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Our rescue refuses to adopt out cats where someone wishes to declaw. I have to be perfectly honest with you however, that the de-claw cats that come in are the first to leave. Looks like the demand is still there..
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Our rescue refuses to adopt out cats where someone wishes to declaw. I have to be perfectly honest with you however, that the de-claw cats that come in are the first to leave. Looks like the demand is still there..
Yeah, I knew that. The ones my vet gets in her rescue are usually the first to go too. BUT it does not make it right.
I wonder if people knew about some of the ramifications if they would adopt a declawed one? The possible litter box issues, the biting, the fact that it doesn't matter if the cat is declawed or not it will still "scratch" the furniture and over time will wear through the fabric.

Thanks for the replies folks. I feel much better now. I thought maybe I was being a bit of a jerk saying no to what could have been a wonderful home for one of my little ones. You all know me enough by now to know I don't care if I have these guys all their lives. I need to know the home I choose for them is one where ALL of their needs will be looked after.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Four hours kr? Four hours!!!!! But I know how you feel about your kitties.
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Assumptions do nothing but make an ass out of u and me.

We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:20 PM
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14+K - I agree with your decision.
- I just just now got someone interested in taking a 6 month old kitten...with claws!!!YAY! And she specifically asked for a clawed cat that is indoor only...what a great way to start off the holidays.! We pick him up tonight and into his new loving home.....
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
- I just just now got someone interested in taking a 6 month old kitten...with claws!!!YAY! And she specifically asked for a clawed cat that is indoor only...what a great way to start off the holidays.! We pick him up tonight and into his new loving home.....
Great job!! Only thing is I wish it wasn't around Christmas time. With all the excitement of the holidays kitty sometimes gets forgotten. But I bet it's a great home!
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Great job!! Only thing is I wish it wasn't around Christmas time. With all the excitement of the holidays kitty sometimes gets forgotten. But I bet it's a great home!
It's an amazing home...and a personal friend so I know all is good. She knows what to do and has all rescue animals. It's all good!
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 03:46 PM
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I'm sorry 14+kitties, but I was suprised that you pondered your decision and even thought you were being a bit of a jerk for saying no to what could have been a good home. Never, ever second guess your decision my dear, especially when you feel so strong against declawing.

When my polydactyl Lindy Lou was up for adoption, I had 4 potential good homes for her, BUT, they all wanted to have her declawed. There was even one person who wanted all 4 paws declawed. I never second guessed my decision when I told them no. In the end, we decided to keep her. At least then I knew she would live out the rest of her live with her claws.

You were so right on saying no.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 07:30 PM
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14+ there's no cure for stupid, unfortunately. All we can do is tell people the truth and hope it sinks in for the odd one.
You are totally within your rights to refuse that woman a kitten.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 10:16 PM
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absolutely you have the right and, I personally think, the responsibility, to deny the adoption when you know the kitten is going to a home where the owners are going to mutilate him/her. I was going to get Gizmo declawed - right up until I found out that it wasn't a simple nail removal, but actual amputation involved. Add in the behavioral/psychological problems that I learned about around here, and I have a hard time understanding why it's even legal. Gizmo scratches. He dislikes his scratching post and prefers the bed in the spare bedroom. I would rather replace the boxspring when and if it ever gets damaged to that point rather than pay to have him mutilated.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 06:59 AM
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ABSOLUTELY you have the right to turn them down and I would be very disappointed if you didn't . The humane society will turn down any application for those who even hint at getting their cat declawed.

People put their faith in their vets and think the vets would never do anything that would harm a cat for life .

I mentioned a friend that had his arm cut off by a saw and is now on painkillers for life, well another of DH's friends got one finger cut off and another tip down to the first joint just a couple of weeks ago. I will keep you updated on his progress and chronic pain he may have.

And no it should not be legal!
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 07:30 AM
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I just wrote a long reply and it disappeared
14+,you know how I feel about the issue,anyone wanting a cat,should get one for the right reason,because they love cats.
The chopping off part of the cats paws,causing him needless pain,is not love..it's cruelty.

North America should catch up with the rest of the civilized world and ban such evil deeds
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 08:09 AM
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Thank you so much everyone for your input. I was positive I had the right to turn down a potential adoptee for that reason but it's really nice to have conformation. As I said - I don't care if I have these kitties for life. After all, that's how I ended up with as many as I have. But if I knew they were going to be purposely harmed in order to save someone's furniture - just does not sit right with me.
L4 - thank you for that story. but I also liken declawing to my brother's loss of fingers 5 years ago this coming New Year's Eve. He lost his thumb and index finger to a band saw showing his neighbour how it worked. His middle finger was messed up badly but they were able to save it. He did two years of intensive therapy to get some feeling back in it. He also waited those two years for his hand to heal well enough so he could have one of his toes cut off for a new thumb. That is one complicated surgery as they have to open a person's leg from the toe up to the back of the knee to get the vein for the toe that is being removed so it can all be attached to the thumb and up to the elbow. He did another two years of therapy for that operation. But the phantom pain he feels in that hand is unimaginable. He needs to wear a glove even in the heat of the summer in order to keep his hand warm and the blood flowing.
I also have a cousin who lost an arm in a hydro accident (works for them) and knew a wonderful 103 year old woman who had lost a leg to cancer years earlier. They also felt horrendous phantom pain. I can only imagine a cat would feel the same.

Thanks again all for verifying my right to turn this lady down. I pray she thinks about it and either will never declaw or never get another kitty.

As for vets - I know some who still schedule the declawing and s/n for the same time.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 08:30 AM
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Gee, it is nice to see everyone canning that totally barbaric practice. I applaud you for refusing the adoption 14+. I'm totally anti any mutilations like docking, cropping ears, debarking and declawing.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rg_girlca View Post
I'm sorry 14+kitties, but I was suprised that you pondered your decision and even thought you were being a bit of a jerk for saying no to what could have been a good home. Never, ever second guess your decision my dear, especially when you feel so strong against declawing.
rg - I didn't so much wonder if I did the right thing but wonder if I, as the adopter, had the "right" to turn down an adoptee on those grounds. I am hoping to be a registered sanctuary by March and want to know all of the ins and outs.
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We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 04:42 PM
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14+kitties, of course by you being the adopter have EVERY right to turn down a potential adoptee no matter what the reason. I've turned down a few myself and not because they wanted to have the cat declawed either. One was a couple who's very active little 4 year boy was poking the foster kitten that they wanted to adopt with a wand stick and then tried to step on her and another couple because they wanted the cat to be an indoor/ outdoor cat. I asked them if they ever had a cat before and if so, what happened to it. Their answer was, "It drowned in the neighbours pool."
So yes, you have every "right" to turn people down.

Oh that would be GREAT!!!!!! I hope you get what you need to be a registered sanctuary.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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I agree with everyone else that you have every right to turn down an adoption for any reason. Here we have a disclaimer to that effect posted, maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea to include on your applications?
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