By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4) – 10-year-old Ruby Jarock thought a ban on declawing was important enough to come to a Denver City Council meeting herself.

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“They always scratch, but that’s no really reason to cut off their first knuckle. What if they did that to us?” asked Jarock.

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Her mom, Danielle, owns a pet shop on Broadway.

“A lot of people who have their cats declawed are unfamiliar with the procedure,” she said.

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Veterinarians call declawing a major and often painful surgery. The procedure is an amputation of a cat’s first knuckle.

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The ban would outlaw the procedure in Denver unless a surgery was medically necessary.

Denver City Councilor Kendra Black (credit: CBS)

“It’s painful, it’s cruel, and unnecessary, but it’s legal,” said Councilwoman Kendra Black, who sponsors the ban.

Vets say cats who are declawed are more likely to exhibit bad behaviors and eventually cause owners to give up on their pets.

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A ban could potentially lower the number of cats in rescue shelters.

Most veterinarians already say they won’t perform a declaw surgery for an owner’s vanity. However, supporters of the ban say a regulation is needed.

The council unanimously approved a first reading of the ban, 11-0. A final vote is expected Monday, Nov. 13.

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

Comments (3)
  1. It is not even remotely true that most veterinarians frown upon declawing. The CVMA’s own 2014 survey found that 78% of their member clinics perform the surgery, and 64.4% of individual members do it themselves. Despite reams of evidence of the harm declawing does to cats, a great many veterinarians oppose this ban. Since they won’t stop of their own accord, this legislation is necessary to prevent unnecessary the pain and suffering inflicted upon cats by the very people who are supposed to be preventing it.

  2. Here in the UK we have never declawed cats (or ear cropped dogs, or debarked dogs) as even before all elective mutilation/tattooing of animals was banned by law circa 10-12 years ago, such procedures were against the ethics of our veterinary ruling body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Except by special license for working dogs, tail docking is also now illegal. Cats’ claws are such a non-issue in the UK that we don’t even use Soft Paws, though some owners clip their cat’s claws. Go to any UK rescue site and you’ll be hard pushed to find a cat relinquished for destructiveness in the home, or inappropriate toileting. They do exist, but they are rare. I know because I have adopted three rescue cats in the past five years after extensive website searches for the right cat.

  3. I’ve been a firm opponent of declawing for more than 2 decades (considering I’m in my 30s, that’s most of my life at this point). It is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard of (outside of debarking dogs) and we do it to what are supposed to be beloved members of our family. I’m so proud of Denver right now. This needs to be on the books for the entire state!!! If anyone is willing to make it a state-wide thing, I’ll help with the efforts to get the law passed.