A bill has been introduced that would ban declawing of cats in the State of Michigan.
State Rep. Nate Shannon sponsored House Bill 5508 that would prohibit declawing, or any other surgical procedure that “prevents normal functioning of the claws” unless it’s necessary for the health of the animal.
"Us as an organization, we can't afford to not support this bill," Director of the Human Society of Midland County Beth Wellman said.
She says they've had to pay for multiple reconstruction surgeries on cats with botched declawings.
And she says it's a procedure that's unnecessary in the first place.
"There's very few instances where declawing could benefit the cat and that would be if it had some form of autoimmune issue, if the toe was injured in some way, and certainly something that the animal needs in order to survive is totally different than doing something to save your couch," Wellman said.
The humane society said that simply put, declawing a cat is kind of equivalent to cutting off your own finger at the knuckle, which is why it can cause behavioral and health problems in some kittens.
But others argue that outlawing the procedure will only lead to more strays being left out on the streets.
One person said, "I think in some ways if they don't allow people to do that, then they might have not as many people taking cats."
However, Wellman says that's just a myth. "We get just as many stray declawed cats in as we get stray cats with claws, because the problem is we see a ton of declawed cats that bite, that don't use their litter box, or only use their litter box sporadically, that limp,” Wellman said. “I've done this so long that I can spot a declawed cat from across the parking lot."
If made a law, a violation of the ban could result in a fine of no more than $1,000.