The Paw Project (★★★)

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paw project-documentary poster

‘The Paw Project’ is one of the most uncomfortable documentaries I’d ever watched because it was a discussion as to how wrong it was to declaw a cat. Dr. Jennifer Conrad is a Veterinarian who encounters the controversy when she works with more exotic animals, many of which who died from being crippled. She looks deeper into the issue to find permanent effects which pushes her to stands against it, creating The Paw Project, an operation to reattach tendons and remove fragmented nails growing under the skin to give the cats the ability to flex their paws as if the claws were still there. And with the success of one cat, she decides to continue, despite going against the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Many Veterinarians talk about how they see it as a good disciplinary method to keep their cats in check or a better way to make a lot of money, but many were affected by the blood and pain in the cats. The long-term effects shocked many but others were still too greedy to let up on the practice. Most cat owners felt it was a normal thing to do to their cats until they found out what it meant. Those who found out were horrified and regretted allowing such an injustice to happen to their cats.

This is a very well made documentary. Not only do I want a cat but to save the rest of their species. What’s more shocking is how many other countries have banned the declawing and how far behind America is despite being so forward in other fields. Also, to have the response The Paw Project has gotten is a major sense of accomplishment to fighting inhumane practices to those who have no voice in the world of humans. There are several great pieces of footage, pictures, and Veterinarians willing to talk about the cruelty show the X-rays that no one can argue against. There is so much evidence in this documentary, the silence from the AVMA is very much heard, and their calculating ways to make more money being more important than the welfare of these felines is outrageous.

More acknowledgement should be given to Dr. Conrad for her bravery and determination in pushing through with her cause, especially by creating a documentary that is so well-edited and informative. The scoring was simple and clearly meant to push the emotion but it’s not cheesy. Several photographs of legendary and iconic stars with their cats and footage of injured cats really clarify the agenda in this feature. No one can laugh about this and many are on the edge of crying. So much is left unsaid but what is necessary is out there and cannot be misinterpreted. For many people, this isn’t an important subject, but their lives are affected simply because of the sheer number of people who own cats that they know and how their lives are affected by their cats. Even in Asia, no one would dare to declaw any animal because of their historical and cultural importance.

Pet Project Bumper Sticker

In America, a great deal is unknown, although ‘everyone does it’ anyway. This issue, though small, impacts the lives of creatures who are meant for human companionship, loving and being loved in return. Whether it be due to laziness or ignorance, humans have no excuse for cruelty when the information is out there. For sure, I highly recommend everyone to watch this documentary and make their own decisions as to where they stand. Also, I can see ‘The Paw Project‘ making major waves when it will be released in theaters. No doubt, the AVMA will do everything they can to keep the movement contained. It is, also, very possible for this documentary to gain some 2014 Oscar buzz.