Target: Daniel Weber, President and CEO of Hunt Pacific Management Corporation
Goal: End Hunt Pacific Management’s cruel and unnecessary declawing policy
Declawing is a controversial procedure–so controversial, in fact, that it is banned in 22 countries and many vets in the United States refuse to perform the surgery. However, that hasn’t stopped Hunt Pacific Management Corporation from requiring its tenants to declaw their cats. Sign the petition and urge the company to drop this cruel and unnecessary requirement from its renting policy.
Declawing is a misleadingly named procedure; while it implies that the cat is just having its nails trimmed (albeit permanently), in reality the last joints of all the cat’s toes are being amputated. The procedure is painful and recovery difficult; cats often have to re-learn how to walk since they are missing part of their feet. Furthermore, studies have shown that declawed cats are more likely to relieve themselves outside the litter box (since they can no longer mark their territory by scratching), exhibit behavioral problems, be withdrawn, and bite (since they’ve lost their “first line of defense,” their claws).
Unlike other common medical procedures like spaying/neutering, declawing “is never performed for the sake of the animal,” says Dr. Jennifer Conrad. Instead, cats are declawed to prevent them from damaging furniture, rugs, and other property. Presumably this is the main consideration behind Hunt Pacific Management’s policy. But cats can be trained not to scratch just as they can be trained to use a litterbox, rendering declawing unnecessary. Furthermore, even in the event that a cat was not well-trained, isn’t that what a renter’s deposit is for?
In an ideal world, no cats would be declawed. Failing that, however, the decision should rest with the owner after careful consideration and not be the result of an ultimatum from a property management firm. Sign the petition and urge Hunt Pacific Management Corporation to drop its declawing policy.
Dear Mr. Weber,
The fact that Hunt Management Properties is pet-friendly is admirable. Less admirable, however, is its requirement that cats be declawed. Declawing is a controversial and cruel procedure, and it is rendered unnecessary by proper pet training. Please stop requiring owners to put their pets through a painful, expensive, and pointless procedure–drop the declawing requirement from your policy.
The main reason owners choose to declaw their cats is the risk to furniture, rugs, and other property. Presumably this is the motivation behind Hunt’s policy as well. However, since there are few cat owners who want their cats to destroy everything in sight, most owners will already have a system in place to prevent their cats from clawing and scratching. To require owners to spend money on a crippling surgery that has been known to cause medical and psychological damage to cats is therefore not only cruel but redundant. And if a cat does damage an apartment with scratching, isn’t that what deposits are for?
Furthermore, declawed cats are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems such as a aggression and biting (because they feel vulnerable without their claws) and are more likely to relieve themselves outside the litter box (because they cannot mark their territory through scratching). When a tenant moves out, they take their scratched-up furniture with them, but the smell of cat urine will linger long after a shredded sofa is gone.
I urge you to rethink this unnecessarily cruel procedure, which places an unfair burden on tenants and pets alike. Please make your declawing policy a thing of the past!
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Toyah via Wikimedia Commons