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Declawing Ban Only Scratches the Surface

May 10, 2003

Re "Cats Gain Right to Keep and Bare Claws in W. Hollywood," May 5: Not only am I a homeowner and resident of West Hollywood, I am a cat owner. And as such I respectfully resent anyone, and not least those members of the City Council, enacting legislation that denies the right to animal owners to decide to declaw or not to declaw. I gave serious consideration before I took action to declaw my cat, and only after months of trying every alternative did I finally reconcile that removing his front claws was better than the alternative he faced before I rescued him from the shelter -- an untimely appointment with a deadly needle.

The very fact that the City Council members would waste their energy writing such laws when the SPCA protects the basic rights of animals monumentally demonstrates the council's distorted sense of priorities.

As a taxpayer, I take particular umbrage at council members who appear to be more concerned with animal rights than with some of the issues that continue to plague West Hollywood and its residents. The City Council and its appointed agencies have failed to address both my and neighbors' repeated requests to take the necessary action to protect us from the traffic nightmare that two restaurants cause on a daily basis.

K.B. Doremus

West Hollywood

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It is unfortunate that West Hollywood has outlawed the declawing of animals by veterinarians in the city. Some people are against the declawing of cats, which is still fairly common, and some people want the right to do so if they choose. Since West Hollywood is a little city, the law is more symbolic than effective. One can drive a few minutes out of West Hollywood for the procedure. Here is an example of an overly liberal City Council attempting to legislate morality. It is no better than overly conservative government agencies trying to legislate morality in their way, like the recent attempts across the country to ban the teaching of Darwinism. Balance is best, and the city of West Hollywood is now out of balance.

Michael L. Stempel

West Hollywood

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