Legislative proposal could make declawing cats in New York state illegal

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “When people call us if they already have the cat, they say this cat is driving me crazy I don’t know what to do with the scratching, we will provide education,” said Gina Browning, SPCA Serving Erie County Public Relations Director.

Despite alternative measures, some pet owners still decide to declaw their cats to avoid scratches to themselves and their furniture. Others feel the procedure is unnecessary and cruel. In New York state it could potentially be banned altogether. But Browning says that could alleviate one issue but create another.

“All of the animal welfare groups collectively have such a tremendous job in the past two decades trying to bring down the cat population problem in Erie County. It’s a very real fear to assume that if cats cannot be declawed here in New York state are we going to be right back where we started within 5, 6 years,” said Browning.

Browning says though the SPCA does not support declawing, it does support finding cats safe homes.

“People will come in they’ll ask if we have any declawed cats and if that answer is no some of them will turn and walk right out,” said Browning.

She says there needs to be a balance between banning declawing and doing something to make sure it doesn’t lead to over population.

“We need to really test the climate in New York state and us we care about Erie County we need to test the climate here, see if people will still adopt if they have to have a clawed cat in their home,” said Browning.

The bill is before both the Senate and Assembly but no vote has been scheduled. Assembly sponsor Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, says support is growing as more cat owners learn details about the procedure.

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