11 Ways for Children to Raise Awareness of Declawing

I have been more appalled by declawing this year than any year prior. It is fair to say that the amount of people that are for declawing is far too many and the people who educate about declawing is far to few. While some shelters thoroughly explain pitfalls of declawing, many still don’t. In fact, a big portion of animal shelters even offer declawing. This leaves owners unaware and confused.

Education a great and valuable tool and one that must be used wisely. Many people are not aware of how bad declawing is. How can we help raise awareness of declawing in schools? Young children are the next adult generation and teaching them what is right and what is considered wrong is very important. So, I’ve thought some things though, and decided to share some of my thoughts here for children and even adults to educate about declawing.

  1. Tape a video of you talking about declawing. Talk about the pros and the cons, talk about alternatives and the ways that your audience can help protest declawing. You can either get down to brass tacks or make your video funny and humorous. If you are not comfortable with talking to a camera or out loud, making a video with facts and pictures demonstrating your point can be just as interesting. This video can go on Youtube and Facebook. Consider using this video for your next film project for school or sending it to a few friends and family. Another great idea is to make it into a slideshow and show it on TV for a class that is willing to listen to your views.
  2. Necklaces, bumper stickers, book bags, art boxes and even books help your cause. You can place them just about anywhere! They are very attractive and although they are small, someone is bound to notice them. You can also sell them in a fundraiser or just for fun. Either way, you are getting the word out.
  3. Create a poster and sell your thoughts. You can create your own poster or you can use Ruth’s posters which are both vivid and to the point. It is advised to have your poster lightweight; your poster must be to the point and easy to read. I heavily recommend you make friends with your principal before asking permission to post them around your school. It is also good if you have a lot of reputation in helping animals. if you get the go ahead from your principal, it is time to paste up your posters. Recommended places include: water fountains, lunch lines and bathrooms. Teachers I know would actually place them in front of the class for me too for the whole year – you just have to ask!
  4. Write your next book report over Homer’s Odyssey. Homer’s Odyssey is a memoir written by Gwen Cooper about a blind cat that quickly turns from a tiny blind cat that no one believed in, into a three pound dynamo that eagerly made friends. In this book, it has a brief mention of declawing. If you give a book report over this book in high school, you sometimes have to do a book talk. As long as you stick to the book and the main details, you are allowed to talk about anything pertaining to the book and that gives you the opportunity to have a little chance on your pedestal to talk about declawing.
  5. Do you want to speak up for your school? Schools welcome guest speakers, especially speakers that have an educational topic to share. They won’t allow a person that wants to speak just about declawing, but they would more than welcome a person that wants to talk about animal abuse. If you were to become a guest speaker and talk about animal abuse, you could also add in declawing as it is considered abuse and have a little talk about that along with all your other topics you have prepared. You can also bring cats to elementary schools if you want, especially if he/she is declawed you can explain that. Since kids are inquisitive they might ask “why?” Of course you wouldn’t go into explanation but say something that they can understand about it.
  6. T-Shirts are a great way to voice your cause. T shirts seem like a very small and ineffective way to educate but you would be surprised at the amount of people that have nothing to do in class and just look around. They will notice your T shirt and so will people in the halls, in lunch, and I’ve noticed that a lot of people are interested in what your shirt says for some reason. You can sell these if you get permission from your school which might also spread the word of your cause.
  7. Write your next essay, speech, power point or short story about declawing cats. Be creative and have fun. You can write your essay about an anecdote that includes declawed cats. For example, my eyes were opened once I found out my friend had eight cats that were declawed. They were scratched, paws bleeding, and they were always allowed outside. A short story might be about a declawed cat that was rescued from a shelter and the power point would be solid facts and pictures.
  8. The Humane Society should be behind you on this. Some humane societies have meetings just for communication between owners and animal lovers. Introducing each other’s views can increase healthy thinking and often makes us challenge our own views and decide what is best for our companion. Come up with good reasons about why your humane society should stop offering or promoting declawing and come up with sound and logical arguments. Make sure to join your HSUS group if you have one in your high school, and if you don’t, ask a teacher to help you make one. You can ask them if they would like to be the administrator of the group.
  9. Newspaper and media. You can write a simple post to your newspaper. Make sure your article is concise and rich in facts and details. Random students can get news interviews too. Try to entice a news reporter and see how far that gets you!
  10. Enlist the help of family and friends. Even your family and friends can  help end declawing. Tell them all they have to do is wear a T shirt or even just take a sticker or two. Minuscule or not, it still helps. There is after all, power in numbers. If your friendship proves to be genuine, consider forming a Facebook group and start regular discussions about declawing. For lower grade students, you can always make up an interesting tale about a declawed cat. Tell them a rescue story. Sure, they might not always remember the stories you tell them, but then again, they might.
  11. Job shadow a Veterinarian. Did you know you can actually job shadow a veterinarian while in school? You can job shadow anywhere for that matter. If you do, you might get to know the vet a lot better and discuss with him about declawing. Get to know him better first before rushing into controversial beliefs. It would be rude to barge though the front door and challenge his profession. If you are really energetic, job shadow a teacher and have story time – your perfect chance to spring a story about a declawed cat that once had a home. Depending on your audience, this story might transform multiple times.

Remember that your school might not always appreciate your views. If they get mad at you or anything that would be considered antipathy, feel free to report them. If your principal says “no” to your ideas, you can always seek help to override that decision if the other administrators see good reasoning for your efforts. You don’t always have to accept no – animals have taught us that.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris H, on June 5, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    Talk to the rescue groups & find volunteers who are willing to show pictures & speak about the many declawed cats with behavior problems. They should be willing to explain that cats that refuse to use the litter box often get put to sleep because no one wants them.

    Idea from PoC “Declawing Turns Good Cats to Bad, http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/declawing-turns-good-cats-to-bad.html

    “The Declaw Dilemma” is another excellent article; it’s a great one to share with rescue groups as well. Pictures of cats wearing awesome colored vinyl nail caps can be shown to demonstrate that there are humane alternatives to amputating the ends of cats’ toes. It’s a fun way to introduce the topic.

    The article also has people from shelters talking about the behavior problems declawed cats suffer from. http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/magazine_articles/may_jun_2004/the_declaw_dilemma.html The article also has a printer-friendly option.

    Questions to ask at the veterinary clinic: 1. Can you show me the information that you can give to people to teach them about dealing with cat scratching behavior? 2. Can you show me the information you give out to educate people who ask about declawing their cat? 3. (If the information about scratching behavior is not on display with the other brochures, ask why not. If they don’t have handouts about dealing with normal scratching behavior, ask why.)


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