California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed the bill sponsored by Paw Project that would prevent landlords from requiring tenants to declaw or devocalize their pets.
Landlord associations supported this humane legislation.
Yet California Veterinary Medical Assn. lobbied strenuously against it.
Mass. Veterinary Medical Assn. lobbied equally vigorously against Logan's Law, which prohibits devocalization of cats and dogs, despite substantial evidence that devocalized animals face risks without any benefit; they're abandoned like any other.
Something needs to change. It's long overdue.
Everyone who cares about animals must hold veterinary associations and our own vets to a higher standard. Until that happens, helpless animals will continue to be subjected to painful, needless surgeries they don't order and can't refuse. All for someone's convenience, aesthetic pleasure--or profit.
So what can you do? It's easy.
Next time you see your vet, have a frank discussion. Politely tell him or her:
You expect the professional to whom you entrust your best friend's health to speak out against devocalization and declawing, ear cropping and tail docking--regardless of the position held by the veterinary association, which is charged with protecting members' business interests. If your vet performs these inhumane procedures, you have the option of taking your dog or cat to one who doesn't believe in subjecting animals to medically unnecessary surgery.
Vets need to understand that performing, sanctioning and lobbying against legislation to prevent convenience and cosmetic surgeries is unacceptable to the majority of their clients. That means people like you.
Your business matters to your vet. So should your concern that animals not be cut to modify innate behavior or to achieve an artificial breed aesthetic.
The buck stops with you--and every other veterinary client who cares about animals.
Please use your voice to protect them.