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Divided on declawing

November 14, 2009

Re "Cities act to ban cat declawing," Nov. 7

The Times' article on the declawing of cats left me shaking my head in disbelief.

As a veterinarian with more than 50 years in pet practice, I have performed this procedure on hundreds of cats without ever, as Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz put it, "leaving a cat crippled and in pain for the rest of its life."

Whenever I was asked to perform this procedure by concerned owners, I always thought of it as a lifesaving act. Owners do not casually bring in their pets for declawing. They would rather declaw than turn kitty in to a shelter. It is a quick, under-anesthesia surgery, generally front feet only, and has a fast recovery period.

Would these dimwitted council members prefer to see the cat lose its home, and likely its life, rather than its front claws?

I wonder how the cat would vote on that one?

Bud Stuart

Santa Barbara

::

Kudos to the City Council and the Paw Project for calling cruelty what it is.

I am a practicing veterinarian of more than 19 years and a proud member of the California Veterinary Medical Assn. I think my member officials blew it on this one.

For those vets who think a declaw is like a spay or neuter, why not invite your clients to watch their cat wake up from a declaw? I've spayed and neutered more than 10,000 dogs and cats, most of whom have gone home wagging their tails or purring right after waking up from the procedure. I can't say the same for a declawed cat. Most spend a few days in the hospital, where the horror of their experience is hidden from the owner.

Robert Goldman

Santa Monica

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