Leasing Company Nixes Declawing Requirement After PETA Push

Group Calls On Property Managers, Landlords to Stop Demanding That Tenants Subject Cats to Illegal, Cruel Surgery

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382


As part of a statewide campaign informing landlords, property managers, and listing agencies that declawing (or amputating a cat’s toes at the third knuckle) violates state anti-cruelty law, PETA wrote to Real-Time Leasing—a Minnesota-based leasing company that serves the Minneapolis–St. Paul area—and the company quickly agreed to stop requiring that tenants declaw their cats.

“Tenants have a legal right to refuse any request to mutilate their cats’ paws, which violates state law and leaves cats with a lifetime of pain,” says PETA Deputy General Counsel Caitlin Hawks. “PETA is calling on other Minnesota companies to follow Real-Time Leasing’s kind example and remove these invalid provisions from their listings.”

Minnesota law states that no person shall “torture … or unjustifiably injure, maim, [or] mutilate … any animal” and defines “torture” as any “act, omission, or neglect which causes or permits unnecessary or unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death.” Veterinarians equate declawing with cutting off the last bone in a human’s finger, and it often causes nerve damage, infection, and immense pain. Declawed cats suffer from impaired balance and have to relearn how to walk—and because they’ve lost their first line of defense, they are more likely to bite as a means of self-protection. Some acquire other lifelong behavioral issues, such as urinating outside the litterbox.

Many states’ cruelty laws prohibit torturing, maiming, or mutilating an animal, and a number of jurisdictions, including New York state—as well as nearly two dozen countries—have explicitly prohibited or severely restricted declawing. PETA encourages cat guardians to trim their cats’ nails and provide them with scratching posts, where they can shed their outer claw sheath and stretch, which are essential for their well-being.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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