Please Help Me Inspire St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center to Support the NJ Anti-Declawing Bill

Please Help Me Inspire St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center to Support the NJ Anti-Declawing Bill

Update JUNE 2018

The anti-declawing bill in New Jersey is back on the table. I’ve asked the CEO of St Hubert’s to confirm this info that was given to me from two employees at their North Branch location. One employee said that St Hubert’s supports the anti-declawing bill but only with allowances for the elderly with thin skin and for immune compromised people (people on chemo)

Another employee said that St Hubert’s supports advocacy of not declawing cats but would not comment on any specifics about the anti-declawing bill. He directed me to their very confusing position statement on their website. “St Hubert’s is opposed to declawing domestic cats and debarking surgery in dogs to modify behavior and whenever not medically necessary.”

So if St Hubert’s is against declawing cats for behavioral reasons and says it should only be performed if the cat has a medical reason, then surely they must be supporting this bill. Or…does the medical reason mean if the human has thin skin or immune compromised issues? https://www.sthuberts.org/policies-positions/

PLEASE TRY TO GET AN OFFICIAL ANSWER FROM THEM- ALL THEIR CONTACT INFO IS ON HERE www.sthuberts.org

UPDATE. JANUARY 2018. I received an email from the CEO and PRESIDENT of ST. HUBERT’S ANIMAL WELFARE CENTER AFTER I ASKED HER IF ST. HUBERT’S WILL BE SUPPORTING THE ANTI-DECLAWING BILL THAT WILL HAVE NO EXEMPTION FOR HUMAN HEALTH AND WILL HAVE A CIVIL OFFENSE AS THE PUNISHMENT AND NOT JAIL TIME. (SHE STOLD ME THEY ARE AGAINST “CRUELTY TO VETERINARIANS” SO I KNEW THAT WOULD BE GOOD NEWS TO HER ABOUT THE CRIMINAL OFFENSE CHANGED TO A CIVIL OFFENSE)

SO THAT I DON’T GET ACCUSED OF NOT ACCURATELY PORTRAYING HER COMMUNICATION WITH ME, I WILL SHARE THE EMAIL THIS CEO AND PRESIDENT SENT ME ON JANUARY 1, 2018. A COUPLE THINGS THAT I REMINDED HER ARE THAT I AM NOT ATTACKING THE VETERINARY COMMUNITY. I SHINE LIGHT ON UNETHICAL WAYS THAT THE VETERINARY COMMUNITY AND OTHER ORGINATIONS ARE ADDRESSING DECLAWING. I SHINE LIGHT ON ORGANIZATIONS AND PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE HELPING US END DECLAWING BUT AREN’T. I ALSO ASKED HER THAT JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE CAN DRIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE, DOES THAT MEAN WE SHOULDN’T HAVE LAWS TO PROTECT ANIMALS FROM HARM? I ALSO ASKED IF SHE READ MY STUDY AND IF SHE WAS AT ALL CONCERNED THAT SO MANY VETS IN NEW JERSEY (AND AMERICA) ARE MAKING A LOT OF MONEY FROM DECLAWING. http://www.citythekitty.com/studynjvetsdeclawing/

HERE IS THE EMAIL SHE SENT ME ON JANUARY 1, 2018.

Hi Lori,

I have answered you several times and again, I don’t believe that you accurately portray our communications. I’ll give it one last try, too, in earnest:

I communicated last year that we have a debark ban in NJ and that aligning declaw and debark is the logical path to support awareness (among many parties) and enforcement. That alignment would not have jail time for veterinarians, correct. It would put licensure on the line for veterinarians and hold individual pet guardians accountable, something not in the original bill. Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware are less than 2 hour drives from virtually any point in NJ. Please think about this reality.

My communications to legislators and others included statements that destructive behavior is not a significant reason for surrender, nor is it a top call to our pet helpline and therefore that a ban, in our expert opinion, would not increase relinquishment (and the corresponding alarm of euthanasia), as is claimed by some in the veterinary community.

We have very few declawed cats coming into our shelters and those that are declawed are older than all other non-kitten cats (kitten data removed as it would skew the analysis). We see this as a clear sign of the declining trend of declawing and we compared our data with another larger NJ shelter and they had similar findings. The messaging we’ve all been doing against declawing is working.

Your approach of attacking the veterinary community on a wholesale level is concerning and we will not subscribe to such an approach. Recently, 25 NJ veterinarians – most we never had relationships with before – came and volunteered at St. Hubert’s to help the 1,212 dogs and cats (and three pot-bellied pigs) that came to us from Hurricane Harvey, Irma & Maria impacted areas this Fall. Thanks to them, those cats and dogs (and pigs) got a second chance and it simply would not have been possible in that tight timeframe without them. Their enthusiasm was palpable and it was a great bridge builder between the welfare and veterinary community.

We hope that you can ‘hear’ the ways that NJ veterinarians are supporting animal welfare, including feline specific initiatives such as ever-increasing support and engagement with trap-neuter-return, which will do more to end the euthanasia and suffering of felines in NJ than any other initiative based on today’s intake dynamics.

Lori, you’ve told me that this issue is your life, that you’ve liquidated your retirement savings to work on the issue. I’d like to invite you to attend a compassion fatigue session we’re having at St. Hubert’s in April. We work to have a session each year for our staff and for the welfare community as part of our professional education series. It’s an earnest invitation. As soon as we have the date, I’ll send it over to you. Someone from Mercy for Animals just advised me that the book, “Trauma Stewardship” quote Changed her life, unquote, and was how she was able to remain in animal protection. I ordered the book but can’t yet give you my take on it.

Meanwhile, I restate that St. Hubert’s works with others throughout animal protection. We offer and expect professional, respectful dialogue. We are opposed to declawing and cosmetic procedures. We will wait for the new language to comment further on any proposed ban on declawing. We commented fully and officially this past session and would do same again.

Cheers to better communication in 2018,

Heather J. Cammisa, CAWA

President & CEO

St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center

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I wanted to share something with all of you that’s been heavy on my mind and I’m very confused. I need your help.
One of the things I do is help get cat rescues, donors, nonprofits, and shelters to support our important anti-declaw bills. I have lots of conversations with their management and I give them factual info and answer their questions etc, so they have all the facts to make a sound decision.

Sometimes I get to have great dialogues with wonderful organizations who understand that cat declawing is animal cruelty and animal abuse, and they naturally and logically support the bill.

But sometimes I have dialogues with these organizations who send mixed messages that I just can’t understand (even after asking some of my smart friends 😸).

St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center (in Madison, NJ with other locations throughout northern NJ) is a state leader in animal welfare; they do tremendous work for cats and dogs and they’re really progressive with a lot of great programs. They also have a dream animal shelter facility. Many declawed cats have been adopted from St. Hubert’s over the years.

I started having a dialogue with the St. Hubert’s CEO, Heather Cammisa, starting in February of this year 2017, about their support for the anti-declawing bill in NJ.

I was sad to hear in my phone call with Heather in February that St. Hubert’s does NOT support the bill that passed the NJ State Assembly in 2016. Instead, St. Huberts wanted to send the bill sponsors (legislators) two amendments to be made to the bill.

Now some of you who are new to bills and lawmaking may not know that one sneaky way to stop a bill is to make amendments to it. Basically, amendments could gut the bill.  You’ve heard of loopholes so big that you could drive a truck through them, right? Think “amendments”…

Anyway, I don’t want to believe that St. Huberts — being such a leader in animal welfare — would do such a thing, so, of course, I asked what those amendments were, before jumping to any conclusions.

I’m still waiting to hear back from Heather as to what the two amendments are.  I received an email from her co-worker last week that said this: “St. Hubert’s is opposed to the surgical declawing of cats except in rare circumstances.  We’ve advised though that we cannot support the bill in its current form and have written to the sponsors with our suggestions.”

Now I’m getting really concerned what those amendments are. We know the NJVMA is fighting this bill, by hiring the state’s top lobbying firm, at great expense. I know that a lot of NJ shelters, including St. Huberts, use NJVMA vets or have NJVMA vets on their board of directors.
I’m really happy that the St. Hubert’s CEO is engaging in this thoughtful and important dialogue with me, and I REALLY hope that our discussion will lead to St. Hubert’s supporting the bill without exceptions for human health issues.

But I’m confused by their proposed amendments. My question for Heather is, if the bill is not amended to allow declawing for human health reasons, will St. Hubert’s not support the bill?

Maybe all of you can help me inspire St. Hubert’s to support this important cat protection bill (without any bad amendments), the way that North Shore Animal League did for the bill in NY, without any amendments:

Please let St. Hubert’s know how much you appreciate all they’ve done to re-home so many cats and kittens, as well as TNR programs for community cats, and we know that they are against cat declawing St. Hubert’s Declawing Position/Policy , so why won’t they support the anti-declaw bill that was passed by the NJ State Full Assembly?

Please go to their Facebook page St. Hubert’s Facebook Page and their other social media pages and respectfully ask them if they will support the bill without the human health amendment and let them know you will give them a 5 star review if they do! Also please email them at info@sthuberts.org  We desperately need their support!

ALSO PLEASE ASK THEM TO PUT A NO-DECLAW CLAUSE IN THEIR ADOPTION CONTRACTS!

St. Huberts is responding to many of your comments by saying they can’t support the bill as it is.
The bill was created and written very carefully for a reason, to protect the cats and not weaken anti-declawing laws elsewhere. Ask them, why are they trying to make changes to this bill, and what are those changes that they want?

St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center is such a leader, progressive and transparent, with clear position statements. So why the secrecy about trying to change the declaw bill? If they are good, legitimate changes, why not be open and transparent about them? We are all on the same side, against declawing, right?

Also, you can write a donation check to St. Huberts and say that they can only cash it when they support this bill without a human health amendment!

I can’t do this without your help! If you get an answer please send it to citythekitty@gmail.com ASAP! 

The mission statement that St. Huberts.org has on their website is, “St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. We believe in and provide services that support the human-animal bond and seek to foster an environment in which people respect all living creatures.

Let’s respectfully remind them that there is no room for declawing in their mission statement!

Thank you,

Love,

City

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Here is a story that I did about how cats should NOT be declawed for immune compromised reasons. Declawing is NOT recommended for immune compromised people or people with thin skin or bleeding disorders

Please go to www.citythekitty.com and sign up to be a City the Kitty Crusader and help us end declawing once and for all!

Why Do Declawing Vets Keep Playing the Cyber-bullying Victim Card?

Why Do Declawing Vets Keep Playing the Cyber-bullying Victim Card?

 Why do declawing vets keep playing the cyber-bullying victim card?

Another declawing vet practice is crying cyber-bully victim after hundreds of people provided factual and scientific, educational information to correct some false information that they were giving to the public about declawing cats and cat health.

The irony is that this is a New Jersey vet practice’s President is playing the victim card, even though the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA) has hired the state’s top lobbying firm to fight our important NJ anti-declaw bill.

That’s right, the NJVMA is paying an estimated $2-5k a month to the top lobbying firm in NJ, Princeton Public Affairs Group, to fight our important anti-declaw bill so that declawing can continue to be as legal as possible … and also to do their PR to make the NJ veterinarians look good while they fight to keep this cruelty legal.

Vets playing the cyberbully victim card … the state’s top lobbying firm … could the two be related? Is this just some slick public relations move?

Do veterinarians really think it is “cyber-bullying” when they post incorrect information about declawing (to the public) on social media, and the public replies back with polite, factual information that disagrees? What’s the point of posting to the public on social media if you don’t want the public commenting back with polite, factual, accurate information?

Let’s look at what happened with this vet. Some of our supporters shared with us this picture, posted by St Francis Veterinary Hospital of Woolwich Township, NJ, boasting that this kitty named “KC” was purring because he was feeling good after being neutered, declawed and having an eye removed.

Hundreds of people pointed out to St Francis Vet Hospital that cats can purr when they are in pain, in an effort to self-soothe. Obviously poor KC was in a lot of pain after having 3 surgeries including 10 amputations of his toes, the removal of his eyeball and being neutered — all at the same time. Then we asked this vet practice why they performed the declaw on KC, and we were told that he had a communicable disease.


Photo posted on September 7, 2017.


The practice, which has the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP)  Cat Friendly logo on their website (UPDATE- I RECEIVED A NOTE FROM A SUPPORTER ON SEPT. 22, 2017 THAT THEY INFORMED AAFP THAT ST. FRANCIS WAS USING THE CAT FRIENDLY LOGO WHEN THEY WEREN’T ONE OF THOSE PRACTICES. BOTH REFERENCES TO AAFP ARE NOW OFF THEIR WEBSITE. SEE SCREENSHOTS AT THE END OF THE STORY)  and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) logo on their website, said that this cat was declawed because it has a communicable disease and the owner didn’t want the other cats in the household to catch it. They asked me this question.

I replied to Saint Francis Veterinary Center of South Jersey with this info but never received a reply back. The facts are that if they are talking about either FIV or FeLV, two diseases that are transmitted through bodily fluids like blood and saliva and therefore most commonly transmitted by deep bite wounds. Would they remove the cat’s teeth as well? If not, why not? They pose even more danger than the claws. Also, FIV is very rarely transmitted to other cats in friendly households. If you’re talking about FeLV, then I suppose there’s a chance, but declawing will do nothing to prevent it. The other cats can be vaccinated, and the owner can be educated about the risks of rough play or the cat can be rehomed to a FeLV positive home or a home with no other cats. Many cats live long and happy lives, never succumbing to FIV or FeLV morbidity. I believe with a good diet and excellent vet care, these viral positive cats can live quite healthy lives. No one would recommend declawing to stop the transmission of these viruses, so please be so kind as to tell me what communicable disease requires declawing to prevent its transmission.

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St Francis continued to repeat that they declawed ONLY in those “rare and difficult cases”. Immediately around that time, one of St Francis’ clients posted a comment saying how much he liked St Francis Veterinary Hospital and that he had 6 cats declawed because, as he said, “I have expensive furniture and I don’t wish for it to be torn up.”

Oops! If a vet declaws “very, very rarely”, what’s the chance that he declaws 6 cats for just one of his clients? #Contradictions

I guess that means having “nice furniture” and multiple cats is one of those “rare and difficult cases”? Since St Francis refused to give examples of those “rare and difficult cases”, we are forced to speculate.

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After receiving over 170 comments on their thread — from concerned people providing numerous links, diagrams and text excerpts from doctors, scientific research papers, medical studies, authoritative sources such as the CDC and NIH and other similar, reputable sources — St Francis deleted all the comments.

Their reason for deleting all the comments was that they were under cyber-attack or cyber-bullied. We took dozens of screenshots and did not see any sign of this cyber bullying they were talking about.

It certainly appears as if they removed all the comments because they knew they were wrong and hated being corrected by the public and they were just trying to save face. They re-posted their original thread, in an attempt to do a do-over, but soon there were another 100+ comments from the public, containing factual information once again.

Apparently the declawing vet’s son, who is the President and MPA (Master of Public Administration) of the vet practice, didn’t like all this factual information contradicting this social media digital marketing efforts, so he cried cyber-bully victim and pleaded for help from his friends:

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St Francis continued to confuse everyone by claiming they want to help end declawing, yet they refused to respond to any of the valid comments from people.
Their comments were nothing but smoke and mirrors and contradictions about how they wanted to work together with us, yet provided no reason for us to trust that they were sincere with their comments.

If any of you have screenshots of all of these vile things that they say were said to them, please send it to me at CitytheKitty@gmail.com. I am adamantly against cyber bullying and always remind people to just be educational and respectful in their comments and posts. Please report any cyber bullying to the police if you are experiencing it!

 

Please go to my website and sign up to be a City the Kitty Crusader and let’s end declawing once and for all. www.citythekitty.com


Here is just one of the many comments where they said that they only declaw cats when it is the last, final option for the cat owners.

PLEASE SIGN THESE PETITIONS FOR THE ANTI-DECLAWING BILLS IN NJ AND NY!

New Jersey Petition New York Petition

 

Alternative Declawing Facts By Two Prominent New Jersey Vets

Alternative Declawing Facts By Two Prominent New Jersey Vets

This is a cat’s toe bone and claw that was amputated with a laser. The photo is not from the veterinary practices mentioned in this story.


This story is to educate people about the truth about declawing. If you want to share this story with these New Jersey veterinarians, please do it in a respectful way so that they will be educated on the FACTS about declawing.


Dr Jose Pla, New Jersey veterinarian, was recently quoted in a story by NHPR about the declawing bill in New Jersey. He says in the story, “

Here is the story. A Declaw Law?


Dr Jose Pla’s business partner, Dr Neal Beeber, is a board member with the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association. The NJVMA is the only organization that is actively trying to stop the declawing bill in New Jersey.

Dr Jose Pla works at  Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital and Dr Neal Beeber works at Little Falls Animal Hospital, both in New Jersey. Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital is an AAHA hospital. Did you see how AAHA made a Declaw Communications Toolkit for their vets who declaw cats. Here it is- AAHA Declaw Communications Toolkit

Dr Jose Pla is the vet who does their declaws. They advertise their laser declaws on their facebook pages, their employees say that Dr Pla performs declaws, “all the time”, ”  Dr Beeber says that a cat will be ok from being declawed, they post photos of declawed cats and promote their laser declaw, and they charge $875 for their laser declaws and will even do them on older cats. They also provide you with Purina’s Yesterday’s News Cat litter. Please sign my important petition to inspire Purina to help us end declawing with the money they are making from it. Petition to Purina  



A cat owner asked Dr Beeber about these facebook posts on his and Dr Pla’s veterinary practice’s facebook page that say, “Our practice offers choices for declawing your kitty. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss these details with your veterinarians.”

Dr Beeber explained, “We try to talk people out of doing it the other way, it’s not as good.” 

Beeber said, “I don’t do them but my partner (Dr Pla) does it at our cats only hospital.” Beeber said that his partner, Dr Pla, was one of the first veterinarians in NJ to do them so he has a lot of experience. Beeber said, “He’s probably more experienced than anyone in the state. He’s really good at them.”

Dr Beeber put the receptionist on the line. She asked, “Do your cats have a problem since we don’t like to automatically declaw.”  Cat owner said, “Yes they like to scratch the sofa.”  Receptionist said, “ok” and gave the prices.  Declaw/neuter $985, declaw for the 3 yr old cat is $875.  

Cat owner was concerned if their cats would be ok after the declaws and asked if Dr Jose Pla is skilled at them? She said, “He does them all the time at our other office (Cats Exclusive Animal Hospital) and he used to do them quite often when he worked in this office. He knows exactly what he’s doing .”


Here is a post by their vet practice and comments that was shared by the biggest laser company that markets their lasers to veterinarians for declawing. The laser machines cost around $40,000 and these vets have to do a lot of declaws to pay back the bill. Declawed cat photo from Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital  

 


 

Here is the review by this doctor, Dr Jose Pla of Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital in Ridgefield, New Jersey on his own facebook page. Dr Pla’s partner vet is Dr Neal Beeber, board member of the NJVMA. Dr Pla gave his practice a 4 out of 5 star review.Review by Dr Jose Pla of his own Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital

“Prior to performing a declaw we require owners to schedule a consult to determine the eligilibility of the pet for the procedure. We adhere to the position statements of both the AAFP and the AVMA that clearly stipulate that declawing is only to be done as a last resort. We never declaw “preventively” or simply based on owners request.

The net result of these consults is that we decline 30-40% of requested surgeries. We then work closely with owners to help institute appropriate play and home care techniques that are aimed to help raise well adjusted cats

Finally, given modern surgical procedures such as laser surgery along with appropriate use of anti-inflammatories and analgesics, our clients routinely report that their pets are walking and playing the same day of surgery. To this date we have never had an owner report any adverse behavior changes or any type of lameness in our surgical patients. Our biggest problem is convincing owners to continue with medications even though the owners report that their pets are fully healed

We are in full agreement that cats can suffer from needless surgery or from poor pain management and antiquated surgical techniques. However simply banning a procedure that prevents an owner from either relinquishing their pet to a shelter or abandoning outdoors is in my opinion a worse option

As a society we all need to understand that there are no perfect answers to many of the problems that pet owners face. The veterinary oath is clear “First do no harm”. While many interpret this as stating that declawing should always be banned, we must also answer the “harm” to the cat from not performing a surgery that ensures that it remains in their “forever home”. Until we answer the latter, we should refrain from disparaging both owners and veterinarians that are looking to ensure these few cats have a loving “animal-human bond”

Dr. Jose Pla “


 A cat owner posted a review on Dr Pla’s and Dr Beeber’s Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital –  “How cruel you amputate cats and boast of your deadly laser machine. Laser declaw does the same thing as scalpel and cutter, except it burns through bone leaving a cat walking on p2 bones or stumps. Walking on leg bones without the toes because the toes paid your electric bill. Quick easy money. Sick sadists.Why don’t you offer claw clipping? Or applying vinyl claw caps instead of causing life long pain, cats suffer silently because they are proud creatures. You KNOW already YOU cause them PAIN FOR LIFE SO STOP DECLAWING.

Reply from Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital While I respect your right to have an opinion. It is important that you provide accurate information. Declawing does not affect the toe pads or result in cats “walking on bones”. Removal of P3 does not change how cats bare weight as the toe pad is at the end of P2 and is not affected by the surgery. Additionally, at no time are any bones “burned”. The surgery is a disarticulation of the joint. We only cut through soft tissues (ligaments, tendons and skin). I fully agree that “Soft Paws” and nail trimming are viable options for most cats. Declawing is reserved for those few cats that do not permit us or their owners to safely trim nails AND are either destructive or injuring their owners.

FACTS-

The change in focus of weight from the base of the amputated P3 to the much smaller surface of the distal P2 is so significant that it actually alters the shape of the paw pads.

ALTERNATIVE FACT-Additionally, at no time are any bones “burned”.”

FACTS- Not on purpose, of course. But one only has to look on VIN to find numerous cases where the distal end of P2 has been accidentally charred.

There are a lot of lousy surgeons out there. How do they propose stopping them? There are no laws or regulations requiring vets to use a laser, or to use adequate pain medication, to prevent errors, let alone be good at the surgery. And even “good” surgeons who use “good” pain management still inflict the identical long-term consequences. Sorry, a legal ban is the only way.


ALTERNATIVE FACTS-The surgery is a disarticulation of the joint. We only cut through soft tissues (ligaments, tendons and skin). I fully agree that “Soft Paws” and nail trimming are viable options for most cats. Declawing is reserved for those few cats that do not permit us or their owners to safely trim nails AND are either destructive or injuring their owners.”

FACTS- Rescos, guillotine style, (still used by ~30% of vets) do cut directly through bone. And those “soft tissues” include nerves—cutting nerves is extremely painful.

Again with the “few cats” – 60-70% is not a “few cats.” And is a lifetime of pain for the cat worth more a nice sofa? We don’t think so.


ALTERNATIVE FACTS– Comments from Dr Pla’s partner vet, Dr Neal Beeber, who is a board member of the NJVMA and told a cat owner on the phone, “we do it with a laser. It takes away the pain and discomfort…” City the Kitty Declawing Study #7 & #8 Dr Beeber & Dr Pla’s veterinary practices

FACT- Laser declawing is no less painful than any other technique after the 24 hours. There is less bleeding and swelling in the immediate post-op period, but that’s the limit of its “advantages.”


ALTERNATIVE FACTS– Comments from Dr Pla, “Prior to performing a declaw we require owners to schedule a consult to determine the eligilibility of the pet for the procedure. We adhere to the position statements of both the AAFP and the AVMA that clearly stipulate that declawing is only to be done as a last resort. We never declaw “preventively” or simply based on owners request.

FACTS- The City the Kitty declawing survey results prove otherwise. Number #7 and #8 in my declawing study


ALTERNATIVE FACTS– Comments from Dr Pla, “The net result of these consults is that we decline 30-40% of requested surgeries. We then work closely with owners to help institute appropriate play and home care techniques that are aimed to help raise well adjusted cats.”

FACTS-  So 60-70% still “need” to be declawed? Do they require (as AVMA policy stipulates) that owners try “appropriate play” and all the other dozen alternatives BEFORE declawing them? Or is the threshold for declawing what it sounds like in the survey, just a statement by the owner that the cat “has a problem” with scratching?


ALTERNATIVE FACTS- Comments from Dr Pla, “Finally, given modern surgical procedures such as laser surgery along with appropriate use of anti-inflammatories and analgesics, our clients routinely report that their pets are walking and playing the same day of surgery. To this date we have never had an owner report any adverse behavior changes or any type of lameness in our surgical patients. Our biggest problem is convincing owners to continue with medications even though the owners report that their pets are fully healed.”

FACTS- The issue is that complications can occur months or even years later: claw regrowth, arthritis, abscesses, etc. Vets just don’t believe that this happens, and even when it does, unless it’s obvious like an abscess, they do not attribute it to declawing.


Comments from Dr Pla, “We are in full agreement that cats can suffer from needless surgery or from poor pain management and antiquated surgical techniques.” “However simply banning a procedure that prevents an owner from either relinquishing their pet to a shelter or abandoning outdoors is in my opinion a worse option.”

So how do they propose stopping those vets from declawing? There is no mechanism for enforcing techniques and protocols. Our opinion differs, and we have studies that back ours up.


ALTERNATIVE FACTS- Comments from Dr Pla, “As a society we all need to understand that there are no perfect answers to many of the problems that pet owners face. The veterinary oath is clear “First do no harm”. While many interpret this as stating that declawing should always be banned, we must also answer the “harm” to the cat from not performing a surgery that ensures that it remains in their “forever home”. Until we answer the latter, we should refrain from disparaging both owners and veterinarians that are looking to ensure these few cats have a loving “animal-human bond”

FACTS- The veterinarian’s oath says no such thing (neither does the physician’s oath). Not even close.

“These few cats”you mean, that 60-70% of cats that you WILL declaw on request as long as the owners say that scratching is a problem?

There is no evidence that declawing keeps cats in “forever homes.” In fact, homes where declawing is required are at high risk for becoming quite temporary. Behavior experts believe that the same people who are intolerant of their cats’ scratching behavior (to the extent of having the cat declawed) will also be intolerant of any other unwanted behavior—and if another behavior issue develops, will quickly get rid of the cat, presumably by any means: relinquishment, abandonment, or euthanasia. [Overall 2003, Patronek 2001]

Here is a facebook page that shows you some of the thousands of declawed cats who are being thrown away, every single day, by their owners in America.This is just on facebook. For the last 6 months there have been 2,025 unwanted declawed cats that people gave up for no reason or excuses like they were moving or they all of a sudden developed allergies to the cat. 1,121 were thrown away to a shelter. 1,511 were found outside. 176 with complications such as litter box avoidance, bting, claw growth, etc.  Betrayed Declawed Cats

For example, if owners with a low tolerance for behavior problems are more likely to declaw their cats to begin with, and also more likely to relinquish their cats if they do begin to exhibit inappropriate elimination, then this could explain the apparent higher incidence of inappropriate elimination in declawed relinquished cats. [Patronek 2001]

Given that up to 1/3 of declawed cats do develop a secondary behavior problem, and given that declawed cats are nearly twice as likely to be relinquished as clawed cats [Patronek 1996], those “forever homes” are looking extremely tenuous at best.


 

In the other dozens of countries where declawing is banned, pet owners deal with clawed cats just fine. Americans can, too.

New Jersey Veterinarian Says Declawing Is Malpractice

New Jersey Veterinarian Says Declawing Is Malpractice

HERE IS A LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR THE DECLAWING BILL IN NEW JERSEY FROM AN ACCOMPLISHED NEW JERSEY VETERINARIAN.

RE: Support for NJ Bill A3899 / S2410 to ban surgical declawing of cats (onychectomy)

January 19, 2017

Dear New Jersey Legislator:

I am a veterinarian and have been in active small animal practice for over 40 years. I am fiercely opposed to the practice of the routine declawing of cats. It matters not how well the procedure is performed nor how much post-operative pain medication is offered — the long term consequences are often the same and damaging to the pet.

Declawing is a disfigurative mutilation of the feet involving digit amputations that always cause physical damage and quite often emotional damage to the pet with long term consequences.
Declawed cats, without their natural defenses often become aggressive and are more likely to bite.

Declawed cats more often show anxieties that manifest in urinating or defecating in inappropriate places, which can often result in relinquishment of the pet to a shelter where the final result is euthanasia as pets with biting and dysuric tendencies are difficult to rehome.

In my career as a veterinarian, I have seen and/or treated hundreds of declawed cats with these behavior problems, most of them showing signs of chronic problems, regardless of the onychectomy technique.
Declawing is a barbaric practice that is outlawed in many countries. The practice does nothing to benefit the cat but is performed as a convenience to the pet owner who wishes to prevent scratching damage to furniture.

Despite the recommendation from the American Veterinary Medical Association to its members to only declaw cats as a last resort, many veterinarians declaw as a first resort and often offer a discounted neuter-declaw package.

The veterinary professional organizations have not recognized onychectomy for what it really is: malpractice.
For a veterinarian to harm an animal and with no physical benefit to that animal is tantamount to malpractice. Despite cautions to their members for decades, professional veterinary associations have not effectively reined in their veterinarians from performing routine onychectomy.

A law is needed to stop the unnecessary cruelty caused by onychectomy. This is not a matter of regulation, for we cannot regulate animal cruelty — we must stop it.
New Jersey has a long and proud history of animal protective legislation. It follows in New Jersey’s proud tradition to lead the nation in becoming the first state to outlaw routine onychectomy and to join the compassionate countries who have already recognized onychectomy for the animal cruelty that it is.

 

Sincerely,
Gordon B. Stull, V.M.D.
NJ veterinarian (lic. # AI001833000)
40+ years of helping and healing pets | 609-472-8200 | gordonstull@gmail.com


 

  • Here is the full email list of the legislators who will be voting for the declawing bill on Monday, Jan 23rd.

    Please copy all these emails, put “Vote YES on A3899” in the subject matter, and send them all an email and ask them to please VOTE YES ON A3899, the bill to ban declawing. You can write more but this is all you need to put in the email.

    AsmTaliaferro@njleg.org, aswhandlin@njleg.org, AsmZwicker@njleg.org, AswMcKnight@njleg.org, AswJimenez@njleg.org, AswChaparro@njleg.org, AswQuijano@njleg.org, AsmBucco@njleg.org, AsmBarclay@njleg.org, AsmWimberly@njleg.org, AswDeCroce@njleg.org, AsmAndrzejczak@njleg.org, asmrumpf@njleg.org, AsmLand@njleg.org, asmchrisabrown@njleg.org, AswTucker@njleg.org, AsmCoughlin@njleg.org, AsmBenson@njleg.org, asmrible@njleg.org, asmrusso@njleg.org, asmwolfe@njleg.org, asmoscanlon@njleg.org, aswgove@njleg.org, AswPintorMarin@njleg.org, AswMuoio@njleg.org, AsmHoughtaling@njleg.org, AsmPeterson@njleg.org, AswMosquera@njleg.org, AswPhoebus@njleg.org, AsmSchaer@njleg.org, AsmJohnson@njleg.org, asmmcguckin@njleg.org, AsmConaway@njleg.org, aswschepisi@njleg.org, asmciattarelli@njleg.org, AsmHolley@njleg.org, AsmKennedy@njleg.org, asmwebber@njleg.org, AsmGreen@njleg.org, AswDowney@njleg.org, AsmHowarth@njleg.org, AsmBurzichelli@njleg.org, asmdimaio@njleg.org, AsmMcKeon@njleg.org, AsmWisniewski@njleg.org, asmbramnick@njleg.org, AsmDanielsen@njleg.org, AsmEgan@njleg.org, AsmLagana@njleg.org, AswSpencer@njleg.org, AsmGreenwald@njleg.org, aswrodriguezgregg@njleg.org, AswCaride@njleg.org, asmcarroll@njleg.org, AswJasey@njleg.org, AswMunoz@njleg.org, AswPinkin@njleg.org, AsmChiaravalloti@njleg.org, AswLampitt@njleg.org, asmspace@njleg.org, AswJones@njleg.org, AsmMoriarty@njleg.org, AsmMukherji@njleg.org, AsmCaputo@njleg.org, AsmGusciora@njleg.org, asmclifton@njleg.org, asmauth@njleg.org, asmdancer@njleg.org, asmrumana@njleg.org, asmskean@njleg.org, AswSumter@njleg.org, AswOliver@njleg.org, AsmGiblin@njleg.org, AsmEustace@njleg.org, AsmSingleton@njleg.org, AswVainieriHuttle@njleg.org, AsmMazzeo@njleg.org, AsmPrieto@njleg.org, AsmDeAngelo@njleg.org, hbeckett@njleg.org, lesniakrj@gmail.com, TonyTeixeira@gmail.com, nealonisaacs@gmail.com, SenVitale@njleg.org, thepawproject@aol.com, ethvet@gmail.com, bgraziano@njleg.org, ecardinali@njleg.org, eloayza@njleg.org, jsciortino@njleg.org, jdempsey@njleg.org, kmcdonnell@njleg.org, kwhite@njleg.org, mmessenger@njleg.org, nbrown@njleg.org, sjanowski@njleg.org, slavine@njleg.org, thester@njleg.org, Chughes@njleg.org, Ddepiano@njleg.org, gbeebe@njleg.org, jkingston@njleg.org, klogan@njleg.org, mgould@njleg.org, nghaul@njleg.org, rkenney@njleg.org, rdammer@njleg.org, smysak@njleg.org, tsheridan@njleg.org, triffle@njleg.org


  • ALSO PLEASE HELP INSPIRE PURINA AND MARS INC. TO DO THEIR PART TO HELP END DECLAWING BY SIGNING THESE IMPORTANT PETITIONS! PLEASE DON’T SIT BACK AND HOPE DECLAWING WILL END. YOUR SIGNATURE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

    Purina4Paws Campaign Idea Petition Mars Inc. Petition

 

 

 

Lying Is The Only Way To Defend Declawing

Lying Is The Only Way To Defend Declawing

Photo of laser declawed cat toes and claws.

The NJVMA has to lie and use fake facts to protect their right to declaw cats.

It’s almost as if they know there is no good reason to declaw but are trying to convince themselves that it’s ok to still make money from mutilating cats.

Here is a letter of support from a New Jersey vet with the REAL facts about declawing Letter of support from a NJ vet for the declawing bill




 

 Screenshot of this photo is from facebook from January 2017. This is the practice of one of the NJVMA’s board member vets, Dr Neal Beeber. More about the way this practice and other New Jersey vet practices address declawing in this extensive declawing study NJ Declawing Study


 The NJVMA hired this firm to help stop the declawing bill in New Jersey. Here is the official note they sent to the New Jersey legislators for the vote on the bill on Monday, Jan 23, 2017.

Here is my story showing the truth over their declawing lies and propaganda. NJVMA Declawing Lies and Propaganda

  • PRINCETON PUBLIC AFFAIRS GROUP, INC.
    PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COUNSEL
    THE PRINCETON HOUSE
    160 WEST STATE STREET
    TRENTON, NEW JERSEY 08608-1102
    PHONE (609) 396-8838 FACSIMILE (609) 989-7491
    WEBSITE: www.ppag.com E-MAIL: ppag@ppag.com
    409 SEVENTH STREET, NW – SUITE 450
    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20004
    PHONE: (202) 589-0800 FACSIMILE (202) 589-1288
    WEBSITE: www.wswdc.com
    MEMORANDUM
    TO: Members of the General Assembly
    FROM: Dale Florio
    DATE: January 20, 2017
    RE: A-3899; Prohibits surgical declawing of cats and other animals.
    On behalf of our client, the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, we urge you to
    oppose the above captioned legislation. No other state currently prohibits this practice.
    Please oppose because:
    New Jersey’s veterinarians are the leading advocates for saving the lives of unwanted or
    discarded animals;
    Veterinarians are educating clients on alternatives to declawing, resulting in a dramatic
    reduction in use;
    Advances in medical practices make the small number performed each year safe and
    virtually painless for cats;
    Families with medical issues would be unable to keep their cats if they were unable to
    have them declawed; and
    People who rely on cats for therapy and companionship would be most negatively
    impacted because of the potential for infection:
    o Cat owners on lifelong transplant medication that suppresses their immune
    system;
    o Cat owners on chemotherapy that suppress immune systems;
    o Cat owners on blood thinners and hemophiliacs; and
    o Elderly cat owners who live in facilities that require a cat to be declawed.
    Again, we urge you to oppose the above captioned legislation. Thank you for your
    consideration.
    DALE J. FLORIO
    BRADLEY S. BREWSTER
    HON. JOHN F. RUSSO
    WILLIAM J. PASCRELL, III
    DAVID A. SMITH
    SONIA DELGADO
    HON. JACK COLLINS
    ALFRED J. GABURO, JR.
    LORNA D. O’HARA
    PATRICIA E. MCGUIRE
    KEVIN P. HAGAN
    CHRISTINA ZUK
    SAM WEINSTEIN

    DAVON MCCURRY



    Here is the full email list of the legislators who will be voting for the declawing bill on Monday, Jan 23rd.

    Please copy all these emails, put “Vote YES on A3899” in the subject matter, and send them all an email and ask them to please VOTE YES ON A3899, the bill to ban declawing. You can write more but this is all you need to put in the email.

    AsmTaliaferro@njleg.org, aswhandlin@njleg.org, AsmZwicker@njleg.org, AswMcKnight@njleg.org, AswJimenez@njleg.org, AswChaparro@njleg.org, AswQuijano@njleg.org, AsmBucco@njleg.org, AsmBarclay@njleg.org, AsmWimberly@njleg.org, AswDeCroce@njleg.org, AsmAndrzejczak@njleg.org, asmrumpf@njleg.org, AsmLand@njleg.org, asmchrisabrown@njleg.org, AswTucker@njleg.org, AsmCoughlin@njleg.org, AsmBenson@njleg.org, asmrible@njleg.org, asmrusso@njleg.org, asmwolfe@njleg.org, asmoscanlon@njleg.org, aswgove@njleg.org, AswPintorMarin@njleg.org, AswMuoio@njleg.org, AsmHoughtaling@njleg.org, AsmPeterson@njleg.org, AswMosquera@njleg.org, AswPhoebus@njleg.org, AsmSchaer@njleg.org, AsmJohnson@njleg.org, asmmcguckin@njleg.org, AsmConaway@njleg.org, aswschepisi@njleg.org, asmciattarelli@njleg.org, AsmHolley@njleg.org, AsmKennedy@njleg.org, asmwebber@njleg.org, AsmGreen@njleg.org, AswDowney@njleg.org, AsmHowarth@njleg.org, AsmBurzichelli@njleg.org, asmdimaio@njleg.org, AsmMcKeon@njleg.org, AsmWisniewski@njleg.org, asmbramnick@njleg.org, AsmDanielsen@njleg.org, AsmEgan@njleg.org, AsmLagana@njleg.org, AswSpencer@njleg.org, AsmGreenwald@njleg.org, aswrodriguezgregg@njleg.org, AswCaride@njleg.org, asmcarroll@njleg.org, AswJasey@njleg.org, AswMunoz@njleg.org, AswPinkin@njleg.org, AsmChiaravalloti@njleg.org, AswLampitt@njleg.org, asmspace@njleg.org, AswJones@njleg.org, AsmMoriarty@njleg.org, AsmMukherji@njleg.org, AsmCaputo@njleg.org, AsmGusciora@njleg.org, asmclifton@njleg.org, asmauth@njleg.org, asmdancer@njleg.org, asmrumana@njleg.org, asmskean@njleg.org, AswSumter@njleg.org, AswOliver@njleg.org, AsmGiblin@njleg.org, AsmEustace@njleg.org, AsmSingleton@njleg.org, AswVainieriHuttle@njleg.org, AsmMazzeo@njleg.org, AsmPrieto@njleg.org, AsmDeAngelo@njleg.org, hbeckett@njleg.org, lesniakrj@gmail.com, TonyTeixeira@gmail.com, nealonisaacs@gmail.com, SenVitale@njleg.org, thepawproject@aol.com, ethvet@gmail.com, bgraziano@njleg.org, ecardinali@njleg.org, eloayza@njleg.org, jsciortino@njleg.org, jdempsey@njleg.org, kmcdonnell@njleg.org, kwhite@njleg.org, mmessenger@njleg.org, nbrown@njleg.org, sjanowski@njleg.org, slavine@njleg.org, thester@njleg.org, Chughes@njleg.org, Ddepiano@njleg.org, gbeebe@njleg.org, jkingston@njleg.org, klogan@njleg.org, mgould@njleg.org, nghaul@njleg.org, rkenney@njleg.org, rdammer@njleg.org, smysak@njleg.org, tsheridan@njleg.org, triffle@njleg.org


  • ALSO PLEASE HELP INSPIRE PURINA AND MARS INC. TO DO THEIR PART TO HELP END DECLAWING BY SIGNING THESE IMPORTANT PETITIONS! PLEASE DON’T SIT BACK AND HOPE DECLAWING WILL END. YOUR SIGNATURE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

    Purina4Paws Campaign Idea Petition Mars Inc. Petition

    Photo posted on Instagram by a veterinary professional. Around 2 million cats a year are declawed in America. They experience pain, fear, and lots of suffering from this mutilating and inhumane procedure.



    Photo from facebook from Dr Neal Beeber,  NJVMA board member’s practice.

Amputating 10 Cat Toes Is No More Painful Than A Neuter – NJVMA SpokesVet

Amputating 10 Cat Toes Is No More Painful Than A Neuter – NJVMA SpokesVet

From all the information that I’ve read and received from veterinary professionals, declawing is the most painful non-therapeutic elective procedures in small animal veterinary medicine.

Here is how the NJVMA rated declawing in 2007 in their NJVMA Animal Welfare Task Force. Guidelines for Preventing, Recognizing, and Treating Pain in the Hospital Setting.

 “Moderately Severe to Severe:”  onychectomy. It was in the same category as cancer pain, fracture repair, limb amputation and many other painful procedures.

Here’s how they rated neutering, “Mild to Moderate: ovariohysterectomy (OVH) (young animals), castration.”

Here is the link to this NJVMA Animal Welfare Task Force Study

 

Yet NOW the NJVMA wants New Jersey legislators to believe that it is no more painful than a neuter.

njvmaHere is the audio testimony by the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association about declawing. Dr Mike Yurkus, NJVMA Testimony at Assembly Committee Hearing 11/14/2016


Excerpt-  “Neutering is the same concept. The discomfort level is no more in a neuter than it is in a declaw that is done properly,” Dr Mike Yurkus, (5.40 mark)

Here is the link to the study that we did about declawing in New Jersey. You will be shocked at what we found. New Jersey Declawing Study- Myths vs Truth

Screenshot from a post on NJVMA’s spokesvet Dr Mike Yurkus’ practice in New Jersey. “No more painful than a neuter.”middletown1

 

 


Here is a response about this post that was on Dr Yurkus’ animal hospital page. And then the response from his hospital, Middletown Animal Hospital.


middletown-ah-rich1-copy


Here is another response to their post comparing the pain in a neuter to a declaw.


Here is another response from Middletown Animal Hospital.

(FYI, Dr Yurkus said in his testimony to the NJ legislators that his practice, Middletown Animal Hospital did 2 declaws this year. One of his own vet techs was asked in a phone call if they do one declaw a month there. “No we do usually more than that. A lot of people get them from shelters and a lot of times they notice that the cats are a little wild and like to scratch so they elect to declaw instead of returning them. “  Cat owner asked if they do at least two a week. “It depends on the doctor. We have 5 doctors and they do them regularly here.”  Here is the link to the NJ declawing study. Middletown Animal Hospital is #2 on the list of 110 practices.  New Jersey Declawing Study


When cats start walking on their gonads, then we will start believing the NJVMA’s spokesvet Dr Yurkus and his animal hospital that declawing isn’t more painful than neutering.

Meanwhile, the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ policy on declawing states:

“Physically, regardless of the method used, onychectomy causes a higher level of pain than spays and neuters. Patients may experience both adaptive and maladaptive pain; in addition to inflammatory pain, there is the potential to develop long-term neuropathic or central pain if the pain is inadequately managed during the perioperative and healing periods.” [AAFP Policy Statement on Declawing, 2007.]

Here is a story about the painful truth about declawing The Painful Truth About Declawing

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