Declaw critics cut short the contest to name "America's Favorite Veterinarian"
The contest to name "America’s Favorite Veterinarian" has been scrapped after an online cyberbullying campaign antagonized finalists
All 20 participants will be recognized as "America’s Favorite Veterinarians" after activists against cat declawing "disrupted and contaminated the final election process," according to a release from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF).
"Apparently many of the so-called animal activists have no problem practicing cruelty to human beings," says John Brooks, DVM, chair of the AVMF board, in the release. "We have always respected the rights of others to have differing opinions, but to do so in a way that is personally destructive and disruptive is inexcusable. We ask all of the activist groups whose members and supporters engaged in such behavior to ask them to stop doing so immediately."
The cat declawing critics attacked the finalists who support the practice of onychectomy as a measure of last resort. Their efforts included calling one veterinarian "a whore, a butcher, a mutilator, a hack, an animal hater, a disgrace to the profession." Others were the subject of negative advertisements and reviews, and some received threatening phone calls.
The finalists will receive special certificates of recognition.
"We deeply regret that our contestants had to endure this abuse and intend to take proactive steps in the future to prevent this type of interference from impacting our activities," Brooks says.