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Proposed Cat Declawing Ban Passes First Hearing

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4) - 10-year-old Ruby Jarock thought a ban on declawing was important enough to come to a Denver City Council meeting herself.

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"They always scratch, but that's no really reason to cut off their first knuckle. What if they did that to us?" asked Jarock.

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Her mom, Danielle, owns a pet shop on Broadway.

"A lot of people who have their cats declawed are unfamiliar with the procedure," she said.

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Veterinarians call declawing a major and often painful surgery. The procedure is an amputation of a cat's first knuckle.

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The ban would outlaw the procedure in Denver unless a surgery was medically necessary.

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"It's painful, it's cruel, and unnecessary, but it's legal," said Councilwoman Kendra Black, who sponsors the ban.

Vets say cats who are declawed are more likely to exhibit bad behaviors and eventually cause owners to give up on their pets.

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A ban could potentially lower the number of cats in rescue shelters.

Most veterinarians already say they won't perform a declaw surgery for an owner's vanity. However, supporters of the ban say a regulation is needed.

The council unanimously approved a first reading of the ban, 11-0. A final vote is expected Monday, Nov. 13.

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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