The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) announced Aug. 26 that it decided, reluctantly, to halt its "America's Favorite Veterinarian Contest" and declare all 20 finalists "America's Favorite Veterinarians" following a vicious cyber-bullying attack that disrupted and contaminated the final election process.
According to AVMF, activists opposed to cat declawing "hijacked" the contest, resorting to cyber-bullying the majority of the contest finalists — those who believe that declawing cats remains a last-resort, but viable, alternative to separating pets from their owners when the animal's behavior cannot be controlled any other way.
AVMF said one contestant, for example, was called "a butcher, a mutilator, a hack, an animal hater, a disgrace to the profession," while other contestants were subjected to the circulation of fraudulent negative advertisements, negative reviews and threatening phone calls.
"Apparently many of the so-called animal activists have no problem practicing cruelty to human beings," AVMF board chair Dr. John Brooks said. "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."
AVMF will be sending the 20 finalists 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 added.