I think that this website has some very interesting statistics. Check it out: http://www.pawproject.com <http://www.pawproject.com/>
Go to the FAQ section. Here is an answer I found interesting; I think it (and other answers on the site) partially negates the theory that cats are better off declawed if someone will take them. They may take them in, but for how long? If an owner can't handle a cat with claws, he/she certainly can't handle a cat with the resulting physical and psychological damage that often occurs. Furthermore, if a person is educated on the atrocities of declawing, and still insists upon it, in my opinion, he/she should not be allowed to have pets. I think the problem is education. I think people would not wish their pets declawed if they truly knew and understood the alternatives and the consequences. Read on. "Actually, declawed cats may be at a disadvantage. There is evidence that declawed cats are disproportionately abandoned at shelters, and that declawed cats may be euthanized more often because of the behavioral and physical problems that result from declawing. Pet owners typically cite protection of their furnishings as being foremost among their reasons for having a cat declawed; however, such owners may not realize that the pain and other complications from the surgery can cause behavioral problems that are even worse than the problems for which the cat's toes were amputated. A cat can still bite a child and may become more prone to do so if it has no claws. A cat whose paws hurt when scratching in a litter box may avoid the litter box altogether, a behavior that may not be tolerated by the owner. Alternatives to declawing exist. Nail caps can be glued painlessly to a cat's claws to prevent damage due to scratching. A cat can be trained to use scratching posts to sharpen its claws without damaging furniture. Also, regular nail trimming, repellent sprays, and double-sided tape applied to furniture help deter a cat from unwanted scratching. In a 1996 JAVMA article, Gary Patronek, VMD, PhD, using multivariate statistical analysis, found that declawed cats were at an increased risk of relinquishment to animal shelters and that among relinquished cats, 52.4% of declawed cats were reported to exhibit litter box avoidance, compared to 29.1% of non-declawed cats. The risk of cats being relinquished to pounds if the owner cannot declaw the animal is grossly overestimated by the veterinary profession. In a survey of owners of cats that had been declawed and their veterinarians, reported by Dr. Gary Landsberg in Veterinary Forum, September 1994, only 4% of the owners said they would have relinquished their pet had it not been declawed. In contrast, the veterinarians in the survey speculated that 50% of the owners would have relinquished their pets. We could reasonably expect that if cat owners knew the risks and alternatives to declawing and if veterinarians took a more active role in offering and assisting with the alternatives (such as nail caps and nail trimming), the 4% figure would be further reduced. As veterinarian Nicholas Dodman, board-certified animal behaviorist and Professor at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, says, "There are very few people of this ilk (who would euthanize a cat if it could not be declawed) who could not be reeducated by an enthusiastic and well-informed veterinarian as to the inhumanity of this approach." Janet Scarlett, DVM, of Cornell University, in the article, "The Role of Veterinary Practitioners in Reducing Dog and Cat Relinquishments and Euthanasias (JAVMA, February 1, 2002), states that client counseling is "probably the most effective means by which veterinarians can influence the number of dogs and cats surrendered to animal shelters today." Veterinarians have an opportunity to intervene because people relinquishing pets are veterinary clients. An estimated 50-70% of pets in shelters had visited the veterinarian in the year preceding relinquishment. Yet, Dr. Scarlett reports, "Only 25% of veterinarians routinely actively identify and treat behavioral problems." She writes, "Less than a third felt confident of their ability to treat common behavioral problems. Perhaps even more disturbing, only 11.1% of veterinarians felt it was the veterinarian's responsibility, rather than the client's, to initiate discussion about behavioral problems." Dr. Scarlett admonishes veterinarians to ask specifically about problem behaviors to uncover problems that clients are reluctant to mention or that they may not realize can be modified. Once identified, appropriate interventions can be recommended. It seems clear that the real solution to the euthanasia concern will be convincing veterinarians to offer proper education. Treating a behavioral problem such as scratching with a surgical procedure is expedient, but doesn't deal the root cause and perpetuates the misconceptions and unreasonable expectations about pet behavior that too often result in abandonment and death."