Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Paw Project

Cat advocates everywhere, from Purrfect Pals Cat Shelter & Sanctuary to Jackson Galaxy, support the Paw Project. This non-profit organization was founded by a veterinarian and hosts an impressive board of veterinarians throughout the U.S. and Canada, all working to educate cat guardians about declawing. The Paw Project team led successful campaigns to ban declawing of domestic cats in these California cities: West Hollywood, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills and Culver City, as well as getting a CA state bill passed outlawing the declawing of all exotic and big cats. The Paw Project also funds and facilitates reparative surgery on big cats in sanctuaries who have suffered mutilating declaw jobs earlier in their lives.

Declawing is illegal in many countries in the E.U. and a lot of U.S. veterinarians won't perform these surgeries. Unfortunately other vets continue to offer these services for fear of losing a client, out of concern for the cat who the guardian may decide to dump at a shelter or simply because they want the money. Ironically many declawed kitties DO end up being surrendered to a shelter because they become unpredictable biters or refuse to use their litter box, probably because of chronic pain. Alternatives to declawing, which don't result in permanent disfigurement (and cost a lot less) include temporary nail cap, regular nail trims, fun scratcher boxes and posts throughout the house, and slipcovering your furniture.

You can watch the Paw Project film by renting or purchasing it via online providers or NetFlix, or by making a $10 donation you can receive a DVD. The film doesn't have bloody, gruesome images but it is heart-breaking to watch debilitated big cats who have endured so much at the hands of humans as "pets" and performers.  The website offers down loadable education materials and actual case studies.  This is a great charity to support with year-end donations!