This species is a second generation intelligence. Created when a company on their home planet had tried to breed a superior pet. The scientist they hired for the job was a little too good at it. Instead of producing a friendly, intelligent, easily trained house pet. The scientist had produced a genetically stable race whose intellect rivaled the residents of their home planet.
Galactic law allowed no fancy interpretations of its rules regarding sentient beings. If they were intelligent, they had rights, and so the members of the new race were granted citizenship.
That had been over seven thousand years ago, and now the species are valuable members, not only of the culture of their home planet, but also of the galactic community as a whole. There were problems however. Because of their origin, they had never naturally evolved grasping members, a great disadvantage for a sentient race. Galactic law forbid inheritable genetic manipulations of a sentient species. Any member of the race who could afford the gene surgery could be altered and grow hands, but the modifications could only be surface. Permanent changes that would be passed on to his or her children were forbidden. It caused a great deal of bitterness among some members of his race. But on the whole, the general population understood the reasons.
Most members of the race settle for cybernetic hands. They were as good, if not better, then the real thing, and much cheaper. The company that had created them had been forced to take parental responsibility, and the trust fund set up so many years ago supplied the money needed to supply all of them with the artificial hands. Cybernetic vocal cords were also part of the package. Their only disadvantage over biological systems, was the ease with which they could be removed or disabled.