Dating back to The Paw Project’s successful grassroots campaign in 2009 featuring the text “If You’re for De-clawing Cats, Raise Your Hand,” the producers of the public service announcement (PSA) on the harmful consequences of feline de-clawing have found a network to air their dramatic PSA.
Their initial campaign, in 2009, including the graphic image of a human hand with each finger severed at the last joint gained a lot of attention. Following that campaign, they launched their 30-second PSA on social network earlier in 2011 and has since gained over a million hits. Now, however, while it can still be seen on YouTube, the PSA does not only have to rely on social networks to capture an audience. The Ovation Network will air the dramatic PSA through September 29. Through the PSA, The Paw Project asks a powerful question, “If you knew what de-clawing really was, would you still do it?”
“We hope that the video imagery serves to illustrate the truth about de-clawing, and we are thrilled that Ovation will be bringing this important message to a national audience. Many people don’t know what the surgery entails and this is a case where a picture is worth a thousand words,” said Jennifer Conrad, DVM, who founded The Paw Project in 2000.
While de-clawing cats has been considered unethical in many countries and banned, the United States has not followed suit and instead is actually a very common practice in the States to prevent cats from scratching up furniture. In fact, estimates say that around a forth of American cats are de-clawed.
While the United States go against the norm of most countries, in many ways, that is the exact reason many Americans have their cat de-clawed. Cat owners feel the procedure is normal and harmless considering the number of people they know who do it. According to The Paw Project and their PSA, the procedure is in fact very harmful and an unnecessary surgery for a cat. The surgery actually includes the amputation of the last “knuckle” of a cat’s toe since their claws grow from within the last bone, which can result in long term physical and behavioral problems.
Gradually, United States cities are beginning to pass legislation themselves. Thanks to The Paw Project, California now bans declawing of captive wild and exotic cats, as well as in 2009, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills and Culver City joining West Hollywood in passing legislation to ban de-clawing of domestic cats. Nationwide licenses from the USDA are also banned from de-clawing exotic and wild animals.
“Declawing is one of the most painful routinely-performed surgeries in all of veterinary medicine and it can result in serious physical and behavioral complications for the cats,” said Conrad.
For more information on The Paw Project visit, http://www.pawproject.org/