The Denver City Council on Monday night moved to make Denver the first U.S. city outside of California to ban the practice of removing cats’ claws. Council members voted unanimously in favor of the proposal at its first reading, all but guaranteeing its passage.
The ban would make it illegal to declaw cats if there isn’t a specific medical reason, such as a tumor or a malformed paw. Supporters of the ban said the procedure is the same as amputation, but some medical professionals said that the decision should be left to doctors and cat owners.
The maximum fine for violating the proposed ban would be $999, and jail time is possible but unlikely, according to city staff. It could go into effect by the end of the year.
The meeting drew stories about the operation.
The council heard from one woman who said that she was wracked by regret after putting a cat through the operation.
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