Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blog The Change: Jammies' Story


Thanks for stopping by as we participate in today’s Blog the Change for Animals Blog-a-thon! The folks over at the site Be The Change For Animals sponsor a quarterly Blog The Change day – and today’s the first in 2012.  Animal lovers everywhere are joining forces today to talk about causes near and dear to their hearts. 

Our first entry in the Be The Change Blogosphere this year is Jammies' Story.

photo courtesy HELP Humane, Belton, MO
Jammies is gorgeously golden – all buff with a cream muzzle and big golden eyes that stare sadly out at you.

Jammies was dropped off anonymously at HELP, a no-kill animal shelter here in the KC metro area. When staff arrived for work that day, they saw this lunging, screaming, biting ball of fury trapped in a carrier. Once inside the shelter, Jammies was so aggressive that no one was willing to open the carrier door.  They noticed something odd about the paws that were attempting to strike out at anyone who dared approach, and an abnormal tendency to shift from paw to paw, indicating discomfort.

When they couldn’t get close enough to Jammies to even determine if this kitty was a boy or girl, they decided to visit their vet.  Poor Jammies was so aggressive, so agitated, that the vet had to anesthetize him to even determine it was a “him”!

By this time, everyone involved suspected that Jammies was suffering from being declawed.  Everyone had heard of “bad declaws” (as if there are good ones?!?) but this one…wow.  As one shelter worker put it, “some vets are really butchers when it comes to this.”

They asked the vet to x-ray Jammies' paws. What those pictures revealed was horrendous: Jammies had shards of bone – remnants of the declawing procedure and possibly even regrowth of the claw – inside his paws. Imagine the pain poor Jammies was in.  What would your disposition be like if you were forced to stand on or walk barefoot over broken glass...day in and day out? 

It’s no wonder he became aggressive and struck out at all who came near.

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and other schools of Veterinary Clinical Sciences have published studies that indicate that fifty percent of cats undergoing a declaw will have one or more complications from it that include lameness, pain, hemorrhage, infection and even internal regrowth of the claw.

Is it any wonder that over 20 nations have declared this practice illegal? Indeed, just this past November, Israel added its name to the ranks with an impressive penalty for those caught in the act: a fine of up to 20,000 shekels and one year in jail.


Normally those of us who live in the U.S. like to think we're a nation that is forward-thinking with regard to the welfare of animals. The fact that declawing is not against the law here is sad but unfortunately not surprising. The number of cat owners who are informed on this issue is shockingly low. And that is why we've chosen to focus on this issue as our Blog the Change entry by telling Jammies' story.

Fortunately, Jammies’ story has a happy ending. He’s on his way to a pain-free existence thanks to the surgical attentions of a responsible vet who removed the bone shards from inside his paws. He’s in the caring hands of staff and volunteers at the HELP shelter – all of whom are teaching him that some humans can be trusted. And he’s well on his way to exchanging aggression for cuddles.

When Jammies was picked up at the vet to go “home” to the shelter a few days ago, the tears flowed as this golden boy – finally on his way to being pain-free – greeted his caretaker with a head butt and a purr for the very first time.
photo courtesy HELP Humane, Belton, MO

Please…pass the word.  There is no such thing as a good declaw.


22 comments:

  1. This is a heartbreaking story, and I am so glad it has a happy ending. So many similar stories don't. This is a very important message and I wish the humans who really need to hear it would pay attention.

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  2. Dreadful story!! but so glad it had a happy ending. I am very glad that declawing is one thing the UK has banned.

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    1. Carolyn, were you the one who needed to see comments in a pop-up window? We're trying out a new threaded comments section, so we'll have the ability to reply to everyone. Hoping this works for all our friends... *worried look*

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  3. Such a sad story. That poor kitty.

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  4. it is terribly sad.....declawing should be banned EVERYWHERE

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  5. I love it when caring people figure out the reason for an animals behavior, instead of just assuming he is a mean/bad animal. I agree, declawing sounds barbaric.
    Thanks for joining Blog the Change!
    Peggy
    BTC4animals.com
    Peggy’s Pet Place

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  6. Poor Jammies! I am so glad he is finally starting to feel better. Poor bebbeh!

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  7. Ugh. More people need to know about situations like this.

    Whenever I try to explain the issues to pet owners, they seem to exalt the cats who do survive without issue.

    "But Mr. Snuggles gets along just fine! He still climbs trees and catches mice. Nothing stops him!"

    An n of one is not a statistically sound record. Many more cats aren't that lucky - as you say, 50% - and the risk is not worth it. Declawing is a barbaric practice and, aside from being an easy money maker for irresponsible vets who don't disclose the full story, there is no need for torturous measures for the sake of a sofa.

    I type this as my husband is clipping our cats' 40 claws single handedly. It's easy, and can be done without issue with patience and kindness.

    Thanks so much for spreading the word and Blogging the Change!

    Kim C.
    BTC4animasl.com
    ThisOneWildLife.com

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  8. Poor Jammies - you just know he was abandoned because he was so aggressive. Too bad his owner didn't care enough to find out he was in pain! I wish declawing was illegal in the US like it is in the UK.

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  9. Jammie's story brought tears to us. We are so happy now that caring people helped him he will have a pain free life. Hugs and nose kisses for sweet Jammie!

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  10. I'm so glad you've chosen this for your cause! So many people don't know, or don't understand, just how cruel declawing can be. This needs to be shared - widely. Thanks for presenting the details, and with such a realistic story for an example. Best wishes for Jammies!

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  11. What a sad story. I am so glad to hear that Jammies is well on his way to happiness.

    I think declawing a cat should be against the law in the US and can't believe that some vets still actually perform this barbaric procedure.

    How do we initiate a change?

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  12. @jodistone, that's a great question. (and thanks for stopping by and visiting us on our blog today!)

    One of the things another blogger, Pamela (at somethingwagging.com) blogged about today is the idea of "stop preaching to the choir". So many times our audience is already filled with cat lovers and folks who know that declawing is a cruel and inhumane thing. She suggests participating in other online venues to educate those who aren't "on the inside" - places like pinterest, squiddoo and yahoo answers.com. I'd encourage you to go check her post out at http://www.somethingwagging.com -- it's a great read!

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  13. This is a great post for Blog with the change.
    Yous knows, me has a scratching problem. Mommy, who has lots and lots of cats, tried everything to gets me to stop. Me has ruined thousands of dollars worth of furniture, and Mommy and Daddy was tempted to get me declawed.
    She did not know what they did for declawing until they did some pre-research and was horrified that it was TOE amputation!
    So it is not always preaching to the choir sometimes the choir can be uninformed too.
    Thanks for explaining so wonderfully.
    Kisses
    Nellie

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    1. Allie: *giggle* Maxwell's blushing at your kisses! HEE! Thanks for telling us this - it's nice to know that maybe what Mommy writes helps people make better informed decisions.

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  14. Hi! Pixel Blue Eyes here. What a fantastic 'Blog for the Change' subject! Thank you so much for sharing Jammies' story. It is not as commonly known that declawing can cause such horrid pain and issues. I really appreciate this real life story to illustrate the dangers.
    I am a mini schnauzer whose tail was docked at 3 days old, and it has caused me a lifetime of issues that Mommy has worked hard to overcome for me. I can understand Jammies pain.

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    1. Pixel thank you so much for stopping by. We love meeting new friends! We're sooo sorry to hear about your tail-docking issues & soo happy you found a wonderful mommy to helped you though it all. We agree - such horried mutilations should not happen to kittehs or puppehs!

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  15. This is such a great story on Jammies. It was so sad, our Mom started to cry but when she got to the ending, those tears turned to tears of joy.

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    1. Us too! Mommy fell hard for those BIG eyes!

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  16. Poor Jammies. :( More people need to know about how horrible this practice really is.

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    1. We agree! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting - and for retweeting it on twitter!!

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Coolio! A comment? For US?