RISING SUN — A Conowingo man known to many as “The Cat Guy” made a presentation to the mayor and commissioners Tuesday asking for their support of a campaign to make cat declawing illegal in Cecil County.
Roger Moore, a cat welfare advocate, polled the Rising Sun board to see if each member understood what is meant when a cat is declawed.
“Unlike humans, a cat’s nails grow from their bones,” Moore said. “When a cat is declawed its toes are amputated.”
Moore asked the board to pass a law to ban the practice in the town.
“What do I need to provide to make this happen?” Moore said. “I want it to happen I want to take this small step right here.”
While considered cruel or inhumane, declawing is done to keep a cat from injuring someone in the household or damaging furniture when it goes through the natural behavior of scratching.
There is also the opinion that a total ban on the procedure could end up with cats being surrendered to shelters or turned out to feral colonies.
In July, New York became the first state to pass a ban on declawing cats. Meanwhile eight California cities also ban the procedure but an effort to pass similar laws in Denver Colo. failed.
“Can Rising Sun be the example? You would be the first town in Maryland to ban it,” Moore said.
While he appreciated Moore’s passion Mayor Travis Marion explained that Rising Sun, like other Cecil County towns, uses Cecil County Animal Services for its animal control issues.
“If Cecil County came out and said, “Ban declawing” we’d all follow. It would be the law countywide,” Marion said.
Commissioner Augie Pierson said there could be legal issues with the town taking such action on its own, including the matter of enforcement.
“Get the county to do it,” Pierson said. “That way even the vet in Conowingo has to play by the rules.”
Commissioner Dave Warnick suggested the town could issue a proclamation supporting the county’s legislation.