Readers React

The Observer-Reporter occasionally asks Facebook friends to respond to a question about an issue in the news. Here are some of the responses to this week’s question: “Last week, New York became the first state in the country to ban the declawing of cats, except in cases in which the animal has a medical condition that necessitates the procedure. What are your thoughts about the legislation?”

Eric Dreyer: I cannot fathom a state assembly wasting their time on such a trivial issue when there are so many far more important ones going on such as legalized murder in N.Y.!

Kimberly Palmer SanGregorio: I would not be able to own cats without declawing. I live in a 117-year-old house with original woodwork. I have 5 cats, of which all 5 were either strays or adopted from a local shelter. All are declawed. All are strictly house cats. All do very well physically and psychologically without their claws. This should not be decided by government, but by each individual cat “parent.”

Allison Collins: It’s about time. Take the time to train your cat and you won’t have to torture that poor animal.

Kelly Wright: YAY New York. I am a licensed veterinary technician. I have seen and assisted in this surgery. One time. I refused to be a part of anymore. It is painful. Even with sedation and pain medication. It is literally cutting off the finger at the first knuckle. Anyone who chooses to have this done, in my opinion, does not deserve to have a cat.

Carrie Anderson: It should definitely be left up to the cat owner. I have grown up with cats and have had several of my own as an adult. They were all declawed and not one of them suffered with pain after the surgery, in fact one came home and started playing like nothing even happened. My cats have all been house cats. One would go out on excursions. He would come home with his prey half his size. He didn’t need his claws.

Susan Elaine Bayard: No declawing please. I have two indoor cats, and yes they can scratch things. The answer is to trim their nails regularly and provide scratching posts. I hope Pennsylvania will consider a ban.

Linda Gonzales: That’s one good thing New York has done. If only they had some compassion for their unborn children. They don’t care about those helpless ones being torn apart inside their mother’s wombs.

Betty McCombs: If the procedure is done correctly, there’s never an issue, and I don’t feel the state should have a say in this. Mandates on something like this just opens the doors for ones that won’t be appealing and puts everyone under the rule of the government

Jul Tessmer: Love it. Good for New York!

Chuck Ammon: (There will) be a lot more cats at the humane society. Our cat lived to be 17, he sharpened his claws on a scratching post everyday, was declawed.

Shirley Markle Harris: I have 4 cats – all still have their claws. Declawing is for humans, not cats, therefore it is not necessary.

Nancy Teegarden: I think it should be left up to the cat owners. If the cat is going to be a indoor cat only then they should be able to have them declawed. It doesn’t change how the cat lives or it’s health.

Joanne Wagner: Declawing a cat is completely barbaric and cruel and serves only the owner – not the cat. Not sure how this would increase cat populations at any rescues since most rescue organizations don’t believe in the practice anyway and will not do it to their kittens (my last adoption required me to agree not to declaw). Also, a cat biting at their claws is how they groom and remove the layers of nail. They all do it and know exactly what they are doing.

Linda Popivchak: New York passes a law that makes it illegal to declaw a cat yet allows abortion passed 24 weeks if it is determined the fetus is not viable or the mother’s “life or health” needs protected. What’s wrong with this picture? The government should stay out of setting laws like this and let those decisions be made by the person and their veterinarian. I am a cat lover and have owned them for decades, both declawed and with claws.

Patty Logan Novak: This law needs (to be) passed everywhere! It is amputation for no reason. If you don’t want your furniture scratched up, don’t get a cat! They need their claws. Please don’t be cruel!

Heather Sattler Martin: Declawing is very inhumane. It is like amputating a human finger at the last knuckle. To the comments about more cats at the humane society ... Don’t get a pet if you cannot accept everything that comes with it, and that may include scratched furniture with cats. Aside from declawing, there are several other effective ways to prevent furniture scratching.

Pam Rafferty: As much as I don’t like the practice, many pets will end up in shelters as a result of destructive clawing behaviors and euthanized ...

Bret Fine: I’m tired of government sticking its nose into everything. If you don’t like declawing, don’t declaw. N.Y. government is power crazy! They’ll kill a baby up to delivery, but outlaw declawing of cats. That’s just ridiculous!

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