RI RESIDENTS: SUPPORT A STATEWIDE DECLAW BAN
Update (June 12, 2023): The bill has passed the RI Senate and is now with the House Health & Human Services Committee.
Write House Committee chair, Susan Donovan, and ask her to support bill SB403, which would outlaw declawing of cats and other animals in Rhode Island! The bills would make disobedience of the law practitioner punishable by fines of up to $1,000.
**Use this sample letter to tell the House Health and Human Services Committee to vote YES on H7574. Include a personal note to increase your impact:
Subject: Prohibit Declawing, Please Support SB403
Dear Representative Donovan and Committee Members,
As a compassionate and concerned citizen, I urge you to pass SB403, which would ban the painful procedure of declawing cats and other animals in the state of Rhode Island . With regard to cats, a declaw procedure is actually the amputation of the last joints of a cat’s toes; it creates lifelong damage that cannot be reversed.
A cat’s claws are essential; they’re used as a means of protection and defense and the grip that they provide allows cats to stretch and strengthen muscles. Cats use their paws in many ways, from grooming to leaving their scent, and any pain from declawing can disrupt the expression of these natural behaviors.
Declawing does not address unwanted scratching and in fact can cause additional behavioral problems due to chronic pain and trauma. A cat who experiences paw pain may exhibit litter box avoidance, and cats who lack claws may use their teeth more in nervous situations. While some may argue that declawing can help a particular cat remain in a home, research has shown that many, if not most, cats who are relinquished to shelters for behavioral reasons are declawed. Thankfully, there are numerous alternatives to declawing; scratching posts, nail caps and trims, spray deterrents and positive behavior modification are all ways to minimize problem scratching.
The state of Rhode Island should join New York, Maryland, the numerous countries around the world and almost every Canadian province, which have already banned this unnecessary and ineffective procedure.
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