UPDATE July 11, 2022:
Unfortunately, the Arizona legislature has adjourned without passing this bill and it has now failed for this session.
Thank you to all who took action to push for this lifesaving bill for cats in Arizona. We are not finished! We will continue to fight to end declawing in Arizona by calling for the next legislature to change the law to protect cats in the state.
Joining Maryland, Arizona is now considering a statewide ban on the cruel and traumatic practice of cat declawing. If the bill, HB 2224, passes, Arizona would become the second state in the nationbehind New Yorkto put a law on the books that prohibits nontherapeutic declaw surgery.
Alley Cat Allies is rallying Arizona residents to speak out in support of the declaw ban. If you live in Arizona, click here to ask your representatives to vote YES on HB 2224!
Right now, the bill is under consideration by the Arizona House of Representatives. If it is approved by the house, it will move to the Senate and closer to becoming law.
Thanks to the leadership of Alley Cat Allies, the Paw Project, and other experts, declaw surgery bans like HB 2224 passed in New York state and 13 major cities in the United States. Even more states are poised to introduce declaw bans of their own in 2022, a sign that the national mindset regarding declawing has made a critical shift.
Once considered a standard procedure, declawing is now widely condemned by several veterinary associations and major hospital groups. Nearly all Canadian provinces and at least 42 countries also have official legislation that outlaws the declawing of cats and other animals.
The change was driven by education and outreach about the truth behind declawingwhich is far from a nail trim. Declawing, the popularized name for a procedure called onychectomy, is the surgical amputation of the last joints of a cat’s toes. The mental and physical affects of the surgery can be severe.
Lifelong chronic pain is possible consequence of declawing. Other side effects include hemorrhaging, paw pad lacerations, swelling, radial nerve damage, lameness, and infections. And without their claws, cats can’t perform many of their natural, everyday behaviors, can feel unsafe without the natural protection of their claws, and can experience issues with walking and balancing due to pain and discomfort in their paws.
Moreover, there are humane approaches that do not involve painful, life-altering declawing, including scratching posts, spray deterrents, and nail caps.
This is Arizona’s opportunity to ban declawing once and for all, protect cats throughout the state, and step up as the next leader in the humane treatment of cats and all animals.