– MILESTONES –
THE PAW PROJECT’S ROLE ADVOCATING
ANTI-DECLAWING LEGISLATION

 
Above. The Paw Project’s Dr. Jennifer Conrad and Dr. Jim Jensvold are flanked by WeHo city council members at the Pacific Design Center to commemorate the 10th anniversary of landmark anti-declawing legislation passed in West Hollywood.
Below. The Paw Project’s Dr. Jennifer Conrad and Dr. Jim Jensvold are flanked by WeHo city council members at the Pacific Design Center to commemorate the 10th anniversary of landmark anti-declawing legislation passed in West Hollywood.

2014 – Rhode Island enacted a new law, similar to the 2012 California law, that prohibits landlords from requiring tenants to declaw or devocalize their animals.

2012 – California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1229 into law, the first ever state law in the US prohibiting landlords from requiring tenants to declaw or devocalize their animals.  Senator Fran Pavley authored the bill, which The Paw Project co-sponsored with HSVMA.

In 2009, The Paw Project led the successful campaigns to legally ban declawing of domestic cats in 7 more California cities. Declawing is now prohibited in eight California cities: West Hollywood, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills and Culver City.

In 2006, The Paw Project was able to convince the USDA, the governing body over animals that are exhibited, bred or sold, to stipulate a regulation in the Federal Animal Welfare Act, prohibiting licensees from declawing or defanging their animals. [USDA Position Paper on Declawing and Defanging]

In 2005, The Paw Project led the campaign to legally ban declawing of wild or exotic cats throughout the entire state of California.

In 2003, Dr. Conrad and The Paw Project team provided data about the debilitating effects of declawing to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which then changed its position on declawing of wild and exotic cats to no longer condone it. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association quickly followed suit.

In 2002, Dr. Conrad approached West Hollywood (California) City Council members and convinced them that declawing of all animals should be banned. The council adopted an anti-declawing ordinance in April 2003 and became the first city in all of North America to ban declawing.

Want to work to enact Legislation?

Many people understandably are eager to see declawing banned in the US and Canada. This can be a very difficult and time-consuming task. It took the Paw Project 10 years to ban declawing in the eight California cities that currently have anti-declaw laws (the only laws of their kind in North America…so far).

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with existing laws (links can be found below on this page). Also, our Anti-Declawing FAQs Page contains useful information.

Many lawmakers are sympathetic to animal welfare issues, but you’ll need to spend time developing relationships with them and helping to educate them about feline declawing. It would be wise to enlist the help of lawyers and to cultivate a broad base of supporters, including veterinarians. Once the legislative process is underway, without constant vigilance, there is always a significant risk of unwanted amendments being attached to the bill which could inadvertently undermine your good intentions.

Are you willing to take on this full-time job? PLEASE reach out to us for advice and materials before you tackle legislation. We are here to help, and we are happy to assist.