The Paw Project


THE PAW PROJECT, by filmmaker Dr. Jennifer Conrad, is an important film; where one woman is taking a stand, facing legislature and politics in order to protect those who do not have a voice. This inspiring documentary follows the ‘David and ‘Goliath story of a grassroots movement to protect felines, both large and small, from the cruelty of declawing and how the movement has prevailed, despite the efforts of well-funded professional veterinary associations.

THE PAW PROJECT takes us inside the issue. Sharing testimony from industry professionals and pet-owners alike, THE PAW PROJECT examines the emotional and physical cost that a cat pays when declawed; and reveals the profit that the procedure generates for veterinary doctors across the nation. Despite the physical and behavioral harm inflicted on cats that are declawed, many veterinarians continue to recommend the procedure, which costs upwards of $1,200.00 per hour – even for very young kittens.

Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Conrad wants it to stop. While it often puts her at odds with many in her professional field, she continues to lead the struggle. Step by step, the film follows Conrad as she refutes representatives from the American Veterinary Association (AVMA), all in her effort to protect the well-being of these felines.  THE PAW PROJECT chronicles her journey from pet examinations to legislative hearings, where she urges elected officials to ban declawing in their cities. 

In April 2003, the City of West Hollywood was the first city in the nation to pass an ordinance making it illegal to declaw  cats, setting an important precedent for other progressive cities around the  country.  The ordinance prohibits any person, including licensed medical
professionals, from performing or cause to perform an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure within the City of West Hollywood, except in those limited cases when there is a therapeutic necessity.

Declawing is a painful surgery that can lead to potential life-long medical complications for the cat.  It is a common American practice that’s done more for the convenience of pet guardian than the benefit of the animal.  It is estimated that more than one-quarter or more of all cats in the United States have been declawed.  

Your cat’s claw is not a toenail. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat’s “toes”.  Your cat’s body is perfectly designed to give it the grace, agility and beauty that is unique to felines. Its claws are an important part of this design. Amputating the important part of their anatomy that contains the claws drastically alters the conformation of their feet. The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense, leaving it prey to predators if it ever escapes to the outdoors.

In the United States today, approximately 25% of domesticated cats are declawed.  While many are told that it is a procedure that benefits the cat’s livelihood; pet-owners aren’t always aware of the true physical damage that it brings to the animal. Most people do not know the current struggle aimed to protect our pets from this harm.

Written, directed and produced by Dr. Jennifer Conrad, THE PAW PROJECT is her added effort to ensure that everyone is aware of the dangers of declawing. She hopes that THE PAW PROJECT will be used as a tool to change the nation. THE PAW PROJECT will open in theaters in Fall 2013

Monday April 29th
6:00 PM – arrival check in
6:45 PM – movie begins. reception to follow film

Pacific Design Center (Silver Screening Room)
8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069

This is a free event.
To attend the screening + reception, please send your rsvp to:; please put PAW PROJECT PDC in subject line.


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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