The Paw Project Public Service Announcement to Air Nationwide on the Ovation Network

Jul 11, 2011, 11:15 ET from The Paw Project

LOS ANGELES, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Paw Project, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization, announced today that the Ovation Network has begun airing its dramatic 30 second public service announcement (PSA), educating the public about the harmful consequences of feline de-clawing.

The spot builds on the group's successful grassroots campaign developed in 2009, which featured the text "If You're for De-clawing Cats, Raise Your Hand," and depicted a human hand with each finger severed at the last joint. The imagery provides a graphic and anatomically-correct representation of the de-claw surgery performed on cats.

The PSA was seeded on social networks early this year and has since garnered over half a million hits. Now it can be watched on YouTube and seen nationally on the Ovation Network through September 29th.  The spot asks a powerful question: "If you knew what de-clawing really was, would you still do it?"

Banned or considered unethical in many countries worldwide, de-clawing surgery is commonly performed in the U.S. to prevent cats from scratching furniture. Estimates are that somewhere around 25% of American cats are de-clawed.

Since a cat's claw grows from within the last bone of its toe, de-clawing requires an amputation at the last "knuckle."  Many pet owners believe that de-clawing is a normal, harmless procedure, when in fact it is a painful and unnecessary surgery that can result in long-term physical and behavioral problems.

As a result of The Paw Project's efforts, California State now bans declawing of captive wild and exotic cats and the USDA forbids its nationwide licensees from de-clawing exotic and wild animals. In 2009, the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills and Culver City joined West Hollywood in passing legislation to ban declawing of domestic cats.

"Declawing is one of the most painful routinely-performed surgeries in all of veterinary medicine and it can result in serious physical and behavioral complications for the cats," said Jennifer Conrad, DVM, who founded The Paw Project in 2000 to promote public awareness about the crippling effects of de-clawing, to rehabilitate de-clawed cats through reparative surgery, and to support measures to eradicate de-clawing. "We hope that the video imagery serves to illustrate the truth about de-clawing, and we are thrilled that Ovation will be bringing this important message to a national audience. Many people don't know what the surgery entails and this is a case where a picture is worth a thousand words," Conrad added.

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SOURCE The Paw Project