Dr. Jennifer Conrad, founder of The Paw Project

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Dr. Jennifer Conrad—the veterinarian and founder of The Paw Project, which has long educated the public about the painful and crippling effects of feline declawing, and who, as of this interview, has made more appearances on “Talking Animals” than any other guest–reviews what exactly the feline declaw procedure involves. She notes that the term is a misnomer, that it more aptly should be called pawprojectsticker5501“de-knuckling,” as it really is an amputation. Conrad discusses the impact on the cat, starting with the intense pain caused by the procedure—which most owners never recognize, because cats are notoriously stoic—and which also include significant problems using the litter box (their paws hurt them and can no longer dig) and, because they no longer can scratch to protect themselves, they often start biting. These two developments, Conrad points 9192833-0out, frequently lead to the cat being surrendered to a shelter or otherwise removed from the house. She also addresses the financial motives for veterinarians performing the declaw procedure (a $1 billion industry), since there is no legitimate medical reason, for either the cat or any humans in the household, 12106862_10153714665679602_7364794890113327046_ncarry out declaw. Among the resources on The Paw Project website is a list of veterinarians across the country who do not perform the declaw procedure. Conrad recounts her earliest legislative efforts to help impose declaw bans, beginning in West Hollywood, later followed by seven more California cities (including Los Angeles and San Francisco). She details the current legislative status in New York and New Jersey, which both appear to be within striking distance of imposing statewide declaw bands. (www.pawproject.org)

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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