Paw Project Campaign Aims to End De-Clawing Through Education

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

The Paw Project, a non-profit animal advocacy organization, has unveiled a dramatic new billboard intended to educate the public about the harmful consequences of feline de-clawing. Located on the southeast corner of Sunset and San Vicente Boulevards in the City of West Hollywood, California, the billboard, which reads, “If You’re for De-clawing Cats, Raise Your Hand,” depicts a human hand with each finger severed at the last joint, providing a graphic and anatomically-correct representation of the de-claw surgery performed on cats.

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Banned or considered unethical in many countries worldwide, de-clawing surgery is commonly performed in the U.S. to prevent cats from scratching furniture. Since a cat’s claw grows from within the last bone of its toe, de-clawing requires an amputation at the last “knuckle.”

“Declawing is one of the most painful surgeries routinely performed by veterinarians, and it can result in serious physical and behavioral complications,” said Jennifer Conrad, DVM, who founded The Paw Project in 2000 to promote public awareness about the crippling effects of de-clawing, to rehabilitate de-clawed cats through reparative surgery, and to support measures to eradicate de-clawing. As a result of The Paw Project’s efforts, California now bans declawing of captive wild and exotic cats, the USDA forbids its nationwide licensees from de-clawing exotic and wild animals, and West Hollywood prohibits declawing of all animals, including domestic cats.

The Paw Project’s efforts have not gone uncontested. The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), a trade organization supporting business interests of veterinarians (who report making upwards of $1000 per hour declawing cats) sued the City of West Hollywood to overturn its declaw ban. In a 2007 ruling, the California Court of Appeal upheld the right of cities to outlaw declawing and other non-therapeutic procedures that they deem inhumane. To circumvent the Court’s decision, and ensure its members can continue de-clawing cats, the CVMA pushed for a bill that prevents other California cities from restricting procedures performed by veterinarians. The bill becomes law on January 1, 2010. San Francisco is currently considering enacting a declaw ban before the law takes effect.

“We hope that this billboard makes people realize that declawing is inhumane and should be illegal,” Conrad said.

Billboard space was donated by Regency Outdoor Advertising, and the design was produced pro bono by advertising firm, McCann Erickson.

For more information, please visit www.PawProject.org or contact Dr. Jennifer Conrad at 310-795-6215.

 

CONTACT: Snowden Bishop of The Paw Project, +1-310-396-4000, snowden@bishopartsandmedia.com