Ban Declawing in Washington, D.C.

Target: Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray

Goal: Ban all animal declawing in Washington, D.C.

Recently, a man in Washington, D.C. was charged with felony animal cruelty when he declawed two eight-week-old kittens in his home.  The act left these kittens with severe infections on each of the toes on their paws and broken bones in all of their feet, leaving both of them unable to walk, and eventually leading to their euthanization.  Cat declawing is an obviously cruel practice, so why is it that the procedure is still generally allowed in D.C.?  Complications from the procedure are common, even when performed by a trained professional.  It is legally ambiguous to punish one man while having no specific laws against cat declawing in the District of Columbia.  We must ask our nation’s capital to completely ban all cat declawing in the city.

Onychectomy, or declawing, is the surgical amputation of the claws and end bones of the toes in animals.  Complications from the painful procedure are extremely common and include paw tenderness, lameness, infections, disfigurement, and even death.  The procedure has also been linked to behavioral problems later in life, including aggression and inappropriate waste elimination.  All animals who are declawed end up with having more difficulty with movement and control with their paws.

Washington, D.C. is the most powerful city in the nation. Banning declawing there could influence other juristictions, and even the whole nation, to do the same.  Please ask Washington, D.C. to clearly define and ban all acts of animal declawing.


Dear Mayor Gray,

Last year, a Washington, D.C. man was charged with felony animal cruelty after declawing two kittens in his home, leading to severe complications and ultimately euthanization.  Although this was an obvious act of animal cruelty, there aren’t any specific laws regarding animal declawing.  I think that after this incident, it is reasonable to place a complete ban on animal declawing in the District of Columbia.

Complications from this procedure are very common, which include infections, disfiguration, the inability to walk, and even death.  Cat declawing is already illegal in several California cities and is very uncommon outside of the United States.  Washington, D.C. is a very powerful city with great influence, and you can influence other cities and states to stand up to animal cruelty by banning this practice.  I thank you for your consideration and hope that you will make the decision to completely ban all acts of animal declawing by any individual in the District of Columbia.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Clara S. via Flickr

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  1. J Davidson says:

    DIY surgery at home??? Hideous atrocity.

  2. Michael Broad says:

    Great idea. I hate declawing. It is thoughtless, cruel, misguided, ciminal (should be), immoral and self-indulgent.

  3. Louise Ann McElhill says:

    The declawing of cats is unnecessary, cruel and extremely painful.It causes many long-term complications – both physical and emotional. I firmly believe that a cat given a choice between amputation of the toes ( in other words : declawing ) and death would choose death. Cats come with claws. If you don’t want a cat with claws – you don’t want a cat. The procedure which involves amputation of the toes to the first knuckle, is banned in 40 countries. It should be banned world-wide. It do not understand why people would subject their pets to such misery.

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