The Paw Project has unveiled a new billboard designed to draw attention to the consequences of declawing cats. The billboard, at Sunset and San Vicente boulevards in West Hollywood, Calif., depicts a human hand with its fingers severed at the last joint -- an anatomically correct representation of the declaw surgery performed on cats.
The effort, created pro bono by McCann Erickson, Los Angeles, and running on space donated by Regency Outdoor Advertising, is part of Paw Project's work to ban declawing, which is commonly performed in the U.S. to prevent cats from scratching furniture. Because a cat's claw grows from within the last bone of its toe, declawing requires an amputation at the last "knuckle," according to Paw Project.
The organization was created in 2000 to promote public awareness about the effects of declawing, to rehabilitate declawed cats through reparative surgery and to support measures to end the procedure. Through its efforts, Paw Project says, California bans declawing captive wild and exotic cats, the USDA forbids its nationwide licensees from declawing exotic and wild animals and West Hollywood prohibits declawing of all animals, including domestic cats.
In announcing the new effort, Paw Project founder and DVM Jennifer Conrad said, "We hope that this billboard makes people realize that declawing is inhumane and should be illegal."