New York became the first U.S. state to ban the declawing of cats Monday, joining most of Europe, several Canadian provinces and a growing list of American cities that already prohibit a procedure animal advocates call cruel and unnecessary.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the New York ban. Supporters of the new law, which took effect immediately, predict it will lead to similar proposals across the country.
"This is a real triumph for cats and the people who love them," said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, who pushed for years and who yielded to temptation when it came to feline-themed puns on Monday. "This has catapulted New York to a leadership position when it comes to cruelty against felines."