This letter to the editor was submitted to Providence Journal on June 12, 2023.


Dear Editor:

Rhode Island should take a strong step to end a legacy of cruelty against cats by passing into law SB 403, a bill before the General Assembly that would end the declawing of cats.

Declawing involves as many as 18 amputations of the last joints of a cat’s toes. Not only are the bones cut off, but tendons, nerves and ligaments in each paw are also severed. Damage from the procedure can cause complications like radial nerve damage, lameness, infections, chronic pain and more. Without the natural protection of their claws, cats are more prone to biting, and pain in their paws from declawing often causes them to avoid the litter box. These are the most common behavioral reasons cats are relinquished to shelters.

Declawing has already been outlawed in Maryland, New York state, and more than a dozen major U.S. cities including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Rhode Island can join them by outlawing this inhumane procedure that provides absolutely no benefit to the cat.

Coryn Julien
Director of Communications
Alley Cat Allies