I received this awesome letter from Ashley and her kitty, Maddie.
Ashley is a shining example of one of the many awesome people who are trying to make a difference in their own special way and help save kitties from the inhumane procedure of declawing.
You can copy her letter, edit it, and send it to your own local shelters and SPCA’s if you would like to help. Many shelters and rescues make people sign paperwork that says they won’t declaw the kitty they are adopting.
But sadly many are like this Ontario SPCA (Canada).
I’m sad to say there are shelters and Humane Society’s that actually declaw the cats FOR the people who are adopting them like the Houston Humane Society. Houston Humane Society Declaws Cats
I hope this email finds you well, and I hope I have chosen the right contact for this issue. If this is the wrong section of the SPCA it would be greatly appreciated if this could be forwarded a long to whomever this is best suited for.
I am writing to you in hopes that the Ontario SPCA will be able to work together with the public to reduce the amount of cats that go through the painful procedure of declawing.
I am requesting that the OSPCA include in it’s adoption contracts a rule against declawing. I am asking this because I have first hand witnessed multiple cats adopted from the SPCA end up declawed. The second time in particular was very upsetting for me. As I was working with the cats owner and teaching her how to trim the cats nails I thought I had saved a cat from this terrible fate. Then next thing I knew i was being told that she declawed the cat anyway all because she wanted to buy a new couch. This cat in particular was a very overweight and older cat and I strongly believe that this cat is going to suffer from serious long term effects from this declaw.
Until declawing becomes illegal, we will never be able to stop it from happening. but I believe we can make a great reduction in incidences of it. As the SPCA is supposed to be a voice for animals that prevents cruelty I think this would be a great place to start. The SPCA places many cats into forever homes but without a no declaw contract they are failing to ensure the animal a life free of pain. IF adjusting the adoption contract is not a reasonable request then maybe at the very least it should be required for adopters to have a conversation with staff about declawing. And if a potential adopter is pro declaw then they should be informed of why it Should not be done and all of the alternatives available. At the very least someone who feels the need to declaw their cats should not be allowed to adopt older or obese animals that are at even higher risk of painful side effects.
I am also hoping that the SPCA would be able to launch a public campaign against declawing. I know the SPCA runs many campaigns and pledges such as no hot pets, and this is wonderful. I think we need to put a similar campaign into place for declawing. The more we can inform the public about how declawing truly is an inhumane and barbaric procedure then the less cats that will have to go through this .
It is my firm belief that with all of the alternatives available (nail trimming, soft paws, scratching posts, claw deterrents) there is no longer a need for declawing.
I trust that I don’t need to remind you of all the reasons that declawing truly is cruelty to cats.
I really hope that something can be put into place and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.
HERE IS THEIR REPLY 🙁
Thank you for contacting the Ontario SPCA. We are pleased to hear that you are interested in the welfare of cats.
Although the Ontario SPCA doesn’t support declawing to avoid scratching behaviors, it is not against the law and is something that a pet owner must discuss with their veterinarian if they are interested in having that procedure done on their cat. As an inclusive organization, our adoption contract is created in such way to be encouraging of the Ontario SPCA as a resource, developing a relationship with a vet, and learning about animal welfare to not cause distress. If adopters ask about declawing as an option our adoption councilors take the time to explain that there are declawed cats in shelters that have been surrendered, and encourage the adopter to consider one of them instead. The councilors will also inform people about alternate options that are more humane in nature for their cats.
At this time, as declawing a cat is not yet deemed illegal and current veterinary medicine supports the procedure we cannot control adopters from making such decisions for their animals after adoption.
Thank you again for reaching out.
Let’s respectfully inspire Ontario SPCA to download the Paw Project brochures to hand out to people so that they will educate them on the facts about declawing and how it harms all cats. Paw Project Declawing Brochures
Please don’t threaten or be rude to anyone involved with this SPCA. We must do the right thing and take the high road and be respectful. It is wrong to threaten them in any way plus then they will twist things around and play the victim. We know that the only victims are all the kitties that are being unnecessarily and cruelly declawed. We MUST continue to shine light on this cause and share all of these stories so that we show the truth about what is going on. We MUST continue to educate cat owners who are being deceived by their pro-declaw vets and who are NOT being told about how declawing is amputations and not good for the health and well being of their cats, how it is inhumane and very painful, and how there are humane alternatives that they can use instead of declawing.
The way that we make positive change is through peaceful and respectful actions and words. When you lash out and are threatening, it hurts our important cause and makes us all look bad, and in turn saves less kitties from this very cruel and inhumane procedure.
The Little Leopard
Ozmin is a Bengal cat who had over 50% of his toe pads cut out of his front feet during a botched declaw operation. Afterwards, the vet noted that he was not using his front feet, not even after over four months of daily pain medication. The declaw surgery had left Ozmin crippled, and he was constantly shaking his paws, licking them profusely after any amount of walking or standing, and curling and “hooking” his paws in an attempt to relieve the inescapable pain and discomfort. Most of the time he kept to himself in his cage at the shelter, lying down so he could stay off his feet.
Ozmin had been turned in to the shelter at 7 years of age by his original owners after they declawed him and he had started urinating outside his litterbox and exhibiting other, new behavior problems. The shelter informed the surrendering owners that Ozmin’s refusal to use the litterbox was due to the pain from his botched declaw job, which had mutilated his paws and made it painful for him to dig in and drag his raw, tender paws through hard litter. The shelter also explained that his change in personality was due to the way cats react to pain by hiding and becoming withdrawn and defensive. Declawed cats also tend to bite people more often, because they have lost their first line of defense (their claws) and because giving “warning pats” with their paws has suddenly become painful. Irregardless, his original owners did not want him or his new problems anymore, and so Ozmin was turned in to the shelter, where he stayed for the next 8 months in his cage, with some free-roam time which he rarely used because his feet hurt.
At one point, another family adopted Ozmin, but they soon returned him to the shelter again after he started urinating outside the litterbox. Repeat-returns is not unusual for declawed cats who acquire post-declaw behavior problems that make them unadoptable.
Throughout this whole ordeal, Ozmin remained friendly, enjoying head pats and voicing very loud meows to shelter staff and volunteers, where he became a favorite as he waited and waited.
One day, a woman noticed Ozmin crouched in his cage. She read the notes on his cage door and knew that his suffering was misunderstood. She consulted with her cat rescue contacts but none were able to commit to him, so she adopted him herself, with the plan of somehow raising the money for a declaw salvage surgery so that Ozmin could get his life back.
“He was suffering way more than people realized and he needed more medical care than the shelter could afford,” said his new mom. “But the thing that kept me up at night was this: even though his story is sad, his life and his suffering would be a tragic waste if no one knew about it and no one learned from it.” After various efforts mobilizing whomever she could, she was able to get him xrays and a generous surgeon made the declaw salvage surgery possible.
Ozmin trying to walk
Ozmin’s X ray
Normal paw that isn’t declawed
Under sedation, the vet could feel the bone fragments in Ozmin’s paws that made it painful for him to bear weight. The typical declaw amputates the P3 bone at the knuckle. Xrays revealed that not only had Ozmin’s P3 bones been removed, but there was also substantial damage to all of his P2 bones. To make matters worse, a significant portion of the soft tissue in his paws had also been removed along with over half of his toe pads during the declaw surgery, which forced him to stand and walk on the pointy ends of his broken P2 bones with inadequate soft tissue or padding to cover them.
Two separate vets — one with over 30 years of experience as a veterinary surgeon — both commented that this was the worst mutilation of a cat’s front feet that they had ever seen.
His mom also noted that Ozmin’s left leg was crooked and the musculature felt significantly uneven, the likely result of complications from the tourniquet used by the declaw vet to stop the bleeding.
Ozmin was dragging his front left paw on the floor because of nerve damage and he couldn’t feel his paw. At mealtime, when he had to crouch down, he would “knuckle over” and “stand” on his “wrist”. The vet worried that this pressure would damage his forearm bone and joint because his “wrist” was never intended for standing on, so I had to hold up the left side of his body and act like his front left leg for him.
Ozmin holding up his paw eating
Saving Ozmin’s Paws, Finally
The surgeons determined that the best corrective action would be to remove all his P2 bones, instead of operating on each damaged P2 bone individually, which would have been more traumatic. While vets do occasionally remove entire, individual toes from dogs and cats (usually in cancer cases), it is highly unusual to remove all toes from an animal’s two front feet. The surgeons believed that this drastic action would give Ozmin the best chance of walking normally again, but its rareness left them unsure of what to expect of Ozmin’s recovery. By the end of the salvage surgery, Ozmin had another 10 bones removed from his front feet, making a total of 20 bones amputated across 2 surgeries. Immediately afterwards, Ozmin experienced increased bleeding and was dragging his left paw on the ground, so he remained at the hospital for extended observation and additional laserwork. Back home, he continued to walk gingerly on three legs and drag his left paw but the vets predicted that any new nerve damage would have a good chance of recovery in time.
Currently Ozmin is recovering slowly but surely from his surgery, baking a lot of cat loafs on the soft floor mats in the bathroom and waiting for the day that he can walk normally again. He may never be able to jump, run, and climb again but people around the world are praying for Ozmin’s full recovery … so who knows, maybe it will be possible!
As most of you know, American Animal Hospital Association is having their big day on Friday. I wanted all of us to join their celebration and try to inspire AAHA to put accountability in their declawing position which says they strongly oppose declawing.
I wanted all of us to post photos of our kitties with #AahaDay on them and with respectful comments to inspire all their veterinarians to do the right thing and stop declawing cats. Or at least do it as a last resort.
Yesterday I asked you to simply call 3 of your local AAHA hospitals to just get a price of how much they charge to declaw a cat. That’s it. The prices weren’t going to be used to attack, threaten, or target these hospitals.
Also, I’ve been having a hard time finding AAHA hospitals that don’t declaw cats, to feature on my page in honor of AAHA’s big day on Friday, so I hoped you would find one that doesn’t declaw cats so we could feature them as heroes which they are.
I received lots of emails from supporters with the declaw prices and sadly most declaw kitties and asked if the clients wanted two paw or four paw. But there were a few supporters who found some good news. A couple hospitals actually counseled the callers on the phone about the facts about declawing and how it harms the cat’s health and well being and also said, ” we are really trying to get away from.”
A sliver of hope and a ray of light in a mountain of despair. I’ll take it with this cause.
Dear Dr Heather Loesner and AAHA.
Newsflash. I have had a very long list of many of your AAHA hospitals that people have sent me in the last few years, that are doing very unethical things in regards to declawing and guess what. You all know. I’ve sent you a few of them but you didn’t give a crap. I don’t need any more. My plate is too full these days with trying to save kitties from this barbaric and evil procedure that those in the veterinary profession like YOU should be HELPING to end and not protecting your member$ so that they can keep doing it.
Yesterday I found out about one of AAHA’s finest that only requires the $35 pain meds package for their 4 paw declaws and NOT the two paw declaws. They say they declaw 4-5 cats a week and sometimes 5 a day. Yep, AAHA, your lack of any mandatory standards for declawing makes you an accomplice to this complete torture and evil ways in thousands of cats in many of your hospitals. Suffering, pain, and torture. Your looking the other way allows this evil and your “leader$” still sleep well at night.
This week I have featured a couple of AAHA practices that honored their oath to just heal and help ALL animals AND I also featured a couple of AAHA hospitals that declaw cats, are offering coupons, advertising it, and are blatantly deceiving first time cat owners who ask these AAHA hospital employees if there is anything wrong with declawing their cats and they say not at all and lie about it.
My mom privately reached out to AAHA and this Dr Loesner in October about a few of these AAHA hospitals that are doing these very unethical things and going against AAHA’s declawing policy, but she didn’t even have the courtesy to write me any reply back and AAHA did nothing and things are still the same at these hospitals. Meaning cat owners are still being lied to and cats are still being harmed unnecessarily.
Bottom line is AAHA knows declawing is wrong and they are strongly opposed to it, but they don’t care at all how the vets at their hospitals are addressing it.
Cats are being harmed and mutilated at thousands of AAHA hospitals in North America and are ALL suffering to varying degrees because of AAHA’s lack of any accountability in their declaw position.
Cat owners are ASKING to have their cats and kittens declawed and most think it ok and don’t know much about it and most veterinarians are just simply doing it without counseling and are even recommending it with spay and neuters.
The vets say that it keeps a cat in a home or it’s better than euthanizing. This is a bunch of BS and they know it.
MOST VETS ARE NOT TRYING TO TALK THESE CAT OWNERS OUT OF DECLAWING THEIR CATS. THEY WOULD PREFER TO TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT, MAKE THE MONEY THAT DECLAWING BRINGS TO THEM, AND IT’S THE CAT’S HEATH AND WELL BEING THAT IS BEING SACRIFICED FOR THIS BIG UGLY LIE IN THE VETERINARY PROFESSION IN NORTH AMERICA. YEP. TRUTH.
If most cat owners were told by their trusted and respected doctors that declawing harms the health and well being of their cat and is inhumane and wrong, guess what people, most rational and compassionate cat owners wouldn’t order that torture and mutilation on their beloved kitties.
THIS APPALLING SITUATION WITH THESE THREE KITTIES HAPPENED AT AN AAHA PRACTICE BECAUSE THE VETS CARED MORE ABOUT THE $1300 THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE FROM THE 3 DECLAWS, THAN THEY DID FOR THE WELFARE OF THE CATS. 3 Kitties Declawed At An AAHA Hospital
THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT THOUSANDS OF CATS ARE GOING THROUGH ON VARYING LEVELS IS UNIMAGINABLE, UNETHICAL, AND TRULY DISHEARTENING.
Why THE YOU KNOW WHAT does AAHA even have a declawing policy if they don’t care if their vets are following it or if they don’t enforce ANY part of it? Why? They enforce every other area of veterinary medicine at their hospitals but not declawing.
THESE BIG VETERINARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE INEFFICIENT AS VETERINARY LEADERS BECAUSE THEIR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS MONEY.
MONEY FROM MEMBERSHIP DUES AND MONEY THAT DECLAWING BRINGS IN TO THEIR VETS POCKETBOOKS.
I’m sad to say, AAHA’s, Staff Veterinary Adviser for Professional and Public Affairs, Dr Loenser who seems to be a dog person from all the dog posts on her facebook page (UPDATE-in the last 24 hrs since this post, she has posted two photos of cats and professed her love for them. There is hope), sent this letter to the 1475 AAHA veterinarians in this private facebook group yesterday about our campaign. In a recent blog post on AAHA.org , they said this about Dr Loenser,”Loenser is passionate about strengthening the relationship between pet owners and their veterinarians and making sure that pet owners receive the education they need to keep their pets healthy. ” Hmmmm.
“IF YOU HAVE FELINE PATIENTS, PLEASE READ; There has been an uptick recently in the activity of people who oppose declawing. This afternoon, one such group asked their 300,000 followers to call AAHA hospitals to find out how much they charge for declaws. This information will be used by the group to promote hospitals who choose NOT to declaw. Conversely, those that DO perform declaws will be targeted on July 22nd.
In the next 12-14 hours, it behooves you to discuss this with your team, especially those who answer the phone. Be sure that you have a cohesive message on your hospital’s declawing policy. Additional communication strategies can be quickly accessed in AAHA’s Publicity Toolkit.
Personally, I understand how hard it is to care for pets, educate clients and still have energy at the end of the day to spend on your friends and family.
It is this type of negativity that can drain us dry.”
Oh boy…play the victim card AAHA, Boo Hoo. Here’s a tissue for you, Heather and AAHA.
Pretty pitiful if you ask me considering your American Animal Hospital Association is supposed to be ALL about being the best of the best and touting the absolute best medical and surgical care for pets as your new President, Dr Nancy Soares, said in a recent video. (Let’s hope she will be a true, ethical, and honorable leader and set an example and make the AAHA hospital she owns as a no-declaw safe zone for all cats soon and hopefully she won’t pick up her laser anymore and perform this mutilating procedure on cats.)
This is what the letter would have said if AAHA truly cared about their declawing policy and the welfare of cats.
Dear AAHA members,
IF YOU HAVE FELINE PATIENTS, PLEASE READ. There has been an uptick recently in the activity of people who oppose declawing. This afternoon, one such group, City the Kitty, asked their 400,000 followers to call AAHA hospitals to find out how much they charge for declaws. This information will be used by the group to promote ethical hospitals who choose NOT to declaw cats and who are following our declawing stance that strongly opposes declawing.
Conversely, those that DO perform declaws, AAHA asks you to discuss this with your team and take this opportunity to revisit your declaw policy and strive for an even higher standard of excellence at your hospital and stop declawing cats.
We encourage you to at least start by always declawing at a last resort, use the proper pain protocols, ALWAYS counsel clients about the facts about declawing and how it always harms the health and well being of a cat, and provide educational materials about the humane alternatives.
Personally, I understand how hard it is to care for pets, educate clients and still have energy at the end of the day to spend on your friends and family. It is these kinds of moments that should inspire us and motivate us to be shining examples for our friends and family, of what it means to have an AAHA hospital with the absolute highest and best medical and surgical care for all animals. And to remind ourselves that declawing just doesn’t fit in to this standard of excellence image. Becoming a no-declaw hospital will set you apart as an ethical and humane veterinarian who is doing the right thing before it is legislated no matter how hard it may affect you financially. It is encouraging to see that many more people are seeking out no-declaw hospitals to bring their pets to, so this loss of income from doing this elective, non-therapeutic mutilating procedure might be made up that way.
Thank you and I hope you are excited about this. We truly all can be leaders who are on the right side of history who are being part of the solution to end this dark chapter in veterinary history in North America. It is this type of change that can bring a lot of light and positivity in our lives, for our patients, and clients, and our hospitals and transcend this goodness to all of our employees.
As MLK said, The time is always right to do what is right. Make us even more proud.
Instead of trying to encourage their veterinarians to move closer to AAHA’s strong opposition to declawing, they make “Declaw Communications Toolkits” to help their vets who support declawing, stay under the radar. Instead of making declawing brochures to give as a courtesy to their AAHA hospitals, they take weeks of planning to give vets who support declawing, tools on how to address “people who oppose declawing.”
Why doesn’t AAHA AT LEAST step up and put accountability into their hospitals for declawing and at LEAST make sure their vets are doing it as a LAST RESORT? That way we would see 1 in 10,000 kittens and cats declawed INSTEAD of 1 in four declawed like it is now.
They turn this around and say that we are going to target them when we tried to go about this in a private manner and let them know that some of their vets were offering coupons, advertising declawing on their social media pages, and deceiving cat clients and the public to believe that declawing isn’t harmful or bad for a cat and that their cats will be back to normal in a couple weeks.
Wake up AAHA. IF you truly want to set the standards of veterinary care high at your hospitals then start doing what you do best and that is making your doctors accountable for their declawing practices.
Here are just some simple tips to start for the “last resort” ideas that they should have been working on instead in all those hours they took to come up with a toolkit that enables their vets to declaw as they please with no protocols, pain standards, client counseling or training, last resort protocol , or ethical considerations.
LAST RESORT POLICY MANDATORY STANDARDS FOR ALL HOSPITALS THAT SAY THEY HAVE THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF VETERINARY CARE
- Cat owner must be taught by a veterinary expert these things. How to apply Soft paws and apply them for 6 months, nail trimming training and behavior modification training at the same time, and scratch post training and how to use deterrents to scratching issues.
- Declawing should never be included in the spay/neuter packages. Kittens should never be declawed. They haven’t been given the chance to use scratchers and the humane alternatives.
- Cat owners requesting declaws must be counseled at least 2 separate times for at least 15 minutes each on the excruciating pain they are unnecessarily inflicting on their cats and potential for chronic pain, litter box avoidance and behavior problems. They must watch a video on the 3 methods of how declawing is done.
- Cat must be microchipped at time of surgery and chip registration must be sent to the veterinary medical board (VMB) as well as their state’s veterinary medical association so that when the cat is dumped, the VMA can see that declawing doesn’t keep cats in their homes.
- Owner must write an appeal as to why this surgery is their last resort and provide a declaration that they will keep the cat for its entire natural life and provide for its new special needs. They must agree to never allowing the cat outside.
- Owner must agree to full pain medication as described by Robin Downing and keep the cat in the hospital for a minimum of 12 days on full pain meds.
- All of these things must be fully documented and the VMB must ok the declawing. There should be a one year waiting period.
- Declawed cats must be routinely examined by pain management specialists and treated accordingly.
To end this note on something positive.
AVMA, AAHA, AAFP and all the pro-declaw veterinarians. YOU WIN! I GIVE UP. Waving the white flag.
Keep doing your inhumane toe amputations, keep fighting hard for your right to do this inhumane procedure to kitties, keep making your evil blood money from this very barbaric and unnecessary form of surgical torture, and keep selling your souls because you are such greedy, lazy, and power hungry “doctors” who don’t want to do the right things that would truly help end this ugly and appalling chapter in your honorable veterinary profession in North America.
It is clear that most of you really don’t care about the welfare of cats because if you did, you all would be HELPING us and not playing the victim and trying to make us look like such terrible “animal activists.”
We are people who are opposed to something that is illegal or considered unethical in most of the rest of the world for good reason.
We all have humanity and heart and are doing this for one purpose only. Because we care about cats who have no voice and who are being put through something so horrific just because of their natural behavior to scratch and use their God given paws and claws… and it is a shame that most of you just don’t care.
It is clear that we all must do our best to find legislators who care about the welfare of animals and who would sponsor a bill like the one in New York and New Jersey.
The unethical and greedy veterinary associations in each state will fight aggressively to defend their right to mutilate and harm cats so that they can keep this power and this income but at LEAST we will get lots of media coverage and awareness on the cause and more people will join us.
Inch by inch, someday, we will win and all kitties will be safe from this barbaric and very inhumane procedure and these “doctors” will be forced, by legislation, to finally do the right thing and only use their hands to heal animals.
Thank you and keep fighting the good fight.
City the Kitty
Story published in 2016
Please Join Us and Let’s Try to Inspire AAHA to Put Accountability in their Declawing Position that says they strongly oppose declawing.
DEAR AAHA leaders and members,
I’m sorry to interrupt your “Meeting in a Box” in your Declaw Communications Toolkit AAHA ‘s Declawing Communications Toolkit as you strategize how to be politically correct about declawing.
The answer is that it is never politically correct to mutilate animals. It’s that simple.
I told one of my many veterinarian friends, who doesn’t declaw cats, about this Declaw Communications Toolkit, and they said, “It never ceases to amaze me that we have to keep coming up with these rationalizations to persuade vets and pet owners away from declawing when at the end of the day, it is just plain wrong. It’s like having to talk someone out of walking across the street blindfolded. The reasons should be self evident. “
But here’s why:
The American Animal Hospital Assoc. (AAHA) has guidelines for vet clinics to be “accredited.”
These include highly important standards like having anesthesia only dentals.
The AAHA has also recently came out with a declaw position statement that says that they “Strongly oppose declawing.” That’s good.
The problem is there are misguided people at AAHA that also put out a “Declaw Communications Toolkit” on their website that includes having a “meeting in a box” to discuss ways of dealing with the rising public outcry over practices that declaw and the fact that those practices don’t want to stop declawing.
This Declaw Communications Toolkit isn’t mandatory either.
You really couldn’t make this stuff up but here it is.
Remember, declawing is a $900,000 – $1,200,000,000/year business. That’s a lot of clams.
So here’s the hypocrisy in a nutshell.
AAHA has strict guidelines for compliance.
AAHA has a strong anti-declaw position.
Get ready for the big BUT…
But, they openly tell their 3500 members who pay $1070 for membership, that they don’t have to follow the AAHA declaw position. (They aren’t however, ever lax on the dentals.)
That’s at least 3.7 million dollars in membership dues that AAHA brings in and the majority of veterinarians at these AAHA hospitals declaw cats. It’s fair to say that some of their membership dues are paid with money that came from amputating cat’s toes and claws.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see why AAHA is afraid to come out and put accountability in their declawing position. AAHA possibly stands to lose a lot of memberships because many of them don’t want to be forced to stop declawing or take the steps to have it be mandatory to do it as a very last resort.
But folks, doing the right thing is important in life and in veterinary medicine.
AAHA also gives the Declaw toolkit to their vets, on how to continue ignoring their declaw guidelines.
They also have lots and lots of brochures available but not ONE for declawing from what I can find. This is the one for scratching behaviors on an AAHA hospital’s website that declaws cats and sadly says, “Numerous studies have shown that declawing does not have a detrimental effect on a cat’s behavior or personality.” (it’s not available on AAHA’s website and says it’s back ordered) AAHA Scratching Behavior Brochure
AAHA has a blog called Pets Matter and lots of helpful stories about pets but not ONE story about declawing from what I could find. AAHA Pets Matter
And there you have it.
AAHA- American Animal Hypocrisy Association.
Here is their press release where they say their declawing position where they oppose is NOT mandatory for their hospitals.
Here is their sample staff training guide in the Declawing Communications Toolkit. They tell them to call us, “people opposed to declawing.”
The sad thing is that I had to spend hours looking through the internet for AAHA hospitals that are no-declaw. Please email me any that you know of.
Here is one of the few no declaw AAHA hospitals I found that has information on their website about declawing and also puts it out on their social media pages so that the public will see it.
Here is one of the many sad examples of an AAHA hospital that loves to tout how well their $30,000 laser works for amputating cat’s toes and claws. These vets know that they have to do a lot of declaws to pay back that bill. It is very common for AAHA vets to tout how great their lasers are for declaws, less blood, less pain, and as one of the veterinary leaders of this country, the Pres of the NYSVMS, Dr Susan Wylegala,said on her website in 2015, “this new technique is much more humane.”
It’s all BS my friends. No matter how you amputate a cat’s toe bone, especially burning it off with a laser, it’s inhumane and wrong. Period.
But this also shows how AAHA’s lack of accountability allows all of these hospitals with vets who support declawing, to keep deceiving cat owners to believe that declawing is not inhumane and so many kitties are being harmed and mutilated because of it. And AAHA just doesn’t care and is looking the other way.
Lasers are NO better than the other ways to amputate cat’s toe bones in fact there are studies that prove that the complications are higher in the first two days after laser declaw surgeries than with the other ways. Laser declaw burns the bone off. Here is some info from an AAHA hospital (They declaw cats but don’t use a laser) about the myths of laser declawing Myths of Laser Declaw
Here is AAHA’s Social Media Tips in the Declawing Communications Toolkit
Here is AAHA’s 2015 revised declawing position.
AS USUAL I MUST REMIND YOU. Please don’t threaten, attack, or be rude to anyone involved in this post or campaign. We must do the right thing and take the high road and be respectful. It is wrong to threaten them in any way plus they will twist things around and play the victim. We know that the only victims are all the kitties that are being unnecessarily and cruelly declawed. We MUST continue to shine light on this cause and share all of these stories so that we show the truth about what is going on.
We MUST continue to educate cat owners who are being deceived by their pro-declaw vets and who are NOT being told about how declawing is amputations and not good for the health and well being of their cats, how it is inhumane and very painful, and how there are humane alternatives that they can use instead of declawing.
The way that we make positive change is through peaceful and respectful actions and words. When you lash out and are threatening, it hurts our important cause and makes us all look bad, and in turn saves less kitties from this very cruel and inhumane procedure.
Photo is from an AAHA hospital with AVMA vets that declaws cats with their laser. They have no age limit for declaws (a blood test is required for older cats). They tell cat owners that there are no long term negative consequences for your cat if you declaw it. They suggest declaws with neuter surgeries to first time cat owners.
In phone calls to this practice, they don’t offer any behavior advice for scratching issues and cats or they don’t suggest scratching posts or Soft Paws (they have a section on their website called “Behavioral Medicine” with a photo of a dog with a torn up pillow and say they help with behavior issues).
They say their laser declaws aren’t painful and say that it’s $208.95 for the front declaw ($283 includes blood work which isn’t mandatory for a 10 month old and 2 1/2 yr old cat) and they say, “doing it by a laser doesn’t hurt them as much as it used to when they used to just pull them (claws) out and it hurt them more.”
When a first time cat owner asked about declaws and said they don’t want their sofa torn up, the employee said, “That’s a chance you don’t want to take.”
When asked how often do their vets do declaws, they say they do “plenty of them.”
American Animal Hospital Association recently made a Declaw Communications Toolkit for all their vets who declaw cats.
It seems to me that their priority is to protect their vets more than it is to end declawing at their hospitals.
Read more about AAHA’s Declaw Toolkit and my own Zero Tolerance Declaw Toolkit in this story. AAHA Declaw Communications Toolkit
I will be featuring AAHA hospitals with vets who are on the right side of cat history and are honoring their oath to just HEAL and HELP animals. They don’t declaw at their hospitals and only counsel cat owners about what declawing is and how it is bad for their cats. They also counsel cat owners about the humane alternatives such as scratching posts, soft paws, behavioral modification tips, deterrents, and nail trimming.
I will also be featuring some of the many AAHA hospitals that offer declaw coupons, promote their laser declawing techniques, and deceive cat owners to believe that declawing is ok for their cats.
Somehow we must try to inspire AAHA veterinarians to stop declawing since AAHA is so afraid of losing them as members. They have 3500 hospitals. Each one pays at least $1070 a year. Most of their hospitals declaw cats. I think you can see why AAHA is tip toeing around and not making it mandatory that their hospital don’t amputate cat’s toes and claws. (no pun intended)
Here is an AAHA hospital that is a shining example of how ALL of them should be. Nova Cat Clinic in Arlington, Va doesn’t declaw cats. They counsel clients about the facts about declawing. They have information about declawing on their website. They counsel about the humane alternatives. They honor their oath and are true advocates for all animals and just HEAL and HELP animals.
Nova Cat Clinic in Virginia also posts educational posts on their social media pages to create more awareness about declawing. Please give them a big thank you on their facebook page Nova Cat Clinic
Screenshot from Nova Cat Clinic website Nova Cat Clinic declawing information
Here is an example one of the many AAHA hospitals (AND a Cat Friendly AAFP practice) that is deceiving cat owners about declawing .
In fact in Oct 2015 my mom sent an email to Kate Wessels, AAHA media contact, and Dr Heather Loenser, Staff Veterinary Adviser for Professional and Public Affairs with AAHA asking them about this AAHA hospital and if they approve of these declawing standards. She told them she received tips that this place wasn’t counseling clients on humane alternatives, had a coupon on their website for it, and was declawing kitties on all four paws, no questions asked and telling clients that there is nothing wrong with it.
My mom even tried to go about this in a private way to just have a respectful educational dialogue with the manager of this Layfayette Veterinary Care ho$pital. Since AAHA doesn’t reach out to their hospitals about this we thought there was a chance they might listen and have an open mind.
She spoke with the manager and told her that she was City the Kitty’s mom and why she was respectfully reaching out about their declaw policy and why they were telling cat owners that there are no negative consequences to declawing and not counseling them about the humane alternatives.
The manager said that they were just re-certified in June and that AAHA went over their website, researched protocols, and toured their practice. This manager told my mom, “ You’re not in a place to say if we counsel clients with the humane alternatives and I’m going to end this conversation now.” And she hung up on her.
Also the media person and this semi-famous DVM, Dr Heather Loenser of AAHA never returned her respectful email.
I had my FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation) Team check this week to see if things had changed for the better at this AAHA hospital.
They called as first time cat owners with a 3 month old kitten and 2 yr old cat and asked what this practice suggested as far as things these cats needed.
They spoke with different employee on different days. They asked about getting a spay and a declaw. This nice employee said, “if you would do just the front feet with the spay it would be $367 and if you want all four feet declawed it would be $475.”
They asked if the cats would be ok long term and the employee said that they use a CO2 laser which reduces pain a lot. They say that a lot of vets use the guillotine method, nail trimmers to cut off the last digit or underneath the nail but the cats do a lot better with the laser and they usually don’t see complications.
Another employee said that they don’t often have complications and if the cat owner had watched a video on youtube on how they declaw cats. She said that they make it look horrible in the video but it’s not really that way. To reassure you they say they use a clean and sanitized surgical suite and use a laser which helps with the pain and makes it less painful and they usually heal in a couple days.
All these employees asked if you want the front or all four paw declaw. Front declaw is $315 and all four is $423.
When the first time cat owners asked what do they recommend, they say, “Occasionally we have people who do all four, but most people just do the front because typically cats will damage furniture or claw things with their front feet only.”
They say, “If you are worried about your cats clawing your furniture, carpet, or curtains, we would recommend just the front.”
They say that they do around two declaws a week and all their doctors are skilled at them.
No mention of humane alternatives, scratchers, soft paws, or trimming nails to these first time cat owners. Not one mention of it being an amputation procedure from this receptionist who also was a vet tech.
When asked if there are any long term problems with declawing a cat they say, “We usually don’t see complications or side effects from declawing with the laser.” They say you must make a $78 exam to have a doctor and to see if your cats are healthy and the only reason they wouldn’t declaw is if there is something wrong in the blood work.
They are nice and say that you can make the exam appointment on a Wed. and leave your kitties overnight and this is complimentary and they will do the declaw the next day. They wrap the paws and put pressure bandages and use their therapeutic laser to speed up the healing and reduce inflammation. They give your kitties one pain injection before it wakes up that lasts 3 days and tiny tablets for two days. They said usually after 3 days they are no longer in pain and the 4 paw declaws are healed in 7-10 days and back to normal.
Their coupon is still on their website.Layfayette Veterinary Care Center Declaw Coupon
I REQUEST THAT NONE OF YOU REACH OUT TO ANY OF THESE VETERINARY HOSPITALS THAT SUPPORT DECLAWING AND THREATEN THEM OR ATTACK THEM. We must take the high road even if they aren’t. If you attack or threaten them, it is wrong and it also hurts our cause and they will turn things around and call us bullies and animal activist terrorists (like a few of the vets did in the AVMA’s America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest). We must keep shining light on the fact that AAHA isn’t doing much at all to try to get their hospitals to move closer to their declawing policy that strongly opposes declawing. AAHA is also looking the other way to all of their vets who support declawing and who are unnecessarily harming and mutilating the paws of so many cats and kittens.