Ban Declawing In Ontario!

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Onychectomy, popularly known as declawing, is an operation to remove an animal's claws surgically, amputating all or part of the end bones of the animal's toes. It is an unnecessary surgery that provides no medical benefit to the cat.

In Canada, declawing is already illegal in two provinces: Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. However, it has been banned by several provincial veterinarian associations across the country, including groups in Manitoba, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Alberta. There are no bans or restrictions in Ontario.

Declawing a cat leaves it without a way to defend itself against predators, which is why it is never recommended that you declaw an outdoor cat. It also leads to a variety of emotional and physical issues it'll have to contend with for life. Studies show that at least 30% of veterinarians don't bother to use pain medication, or if they do, it may wear off during the procedure. There are numerous complications and risks, (abscesses, paw pad atrophy, claw re-growing into the paw pad, etc.). Unfortunately, the trauma of the surgery  can worsen a cats behaviour, to the point that the owners may have no choice but to surrender them. As an animal shelter volunteer, I see all too often stray cats that have been declawed, then eventually left outside to fend for themselves until we can pick them up. It's truly heartbreaking when you realize how many declawed cats never had the chance to be rescued since they couldn't fend for themselves.

This procedure is often done as a behaviour modification tool. If a cat is destructive to property, declawing may scale back the damage caused. However, there are several alternative ways to control a cats behaviour, all of which are significantly less damaging to the cat itself; these include proper training, scratching posts, pheromone sprays and "Soft Paws", which are caps that are safely applied to the claws to keep them from causing damage.

Too many cats have and will continue to suffer the harmful procedure of declawing. It's up to us to raise our voices for the animals that cannot defend themselves, and ban the practice entirely.