Update, August 2020
Houston Humane Society took the declaw information off their website.
We wanted to know if they had stopped declawing but unfortunately, according to 3 employees who work there, they are still performing this inhumane amputation procedure in their WELLNESS Clinic. They say that the cat has to be over 6 months and under 3 years old. A declaw with a spay/neuter is $145 and a declaw on its own is $200-$210. When asked if declawing is ok long term for a cat, they said that’s why they have an age limit because it’s harder for them to heal. They said that they haven’t had any complaints about their declaws. They said that Dr Kevin Scruggs does the declaws with a scalpel. One employee said that they highly recommend against declawing but will do it if you ask for one.
Photo and comments on the photo are from facebook from a cat owner who had their cat declawed at Houston Humane Society.
Let me first say that I’m grateful for all the work that the Houston Humane Society does for animals in Houston.
Their mission statement says, “HHS is dedicated to, and working towards, ending cruelty, abuse and the overpopulation of animals.”
Why would they be declawing cats that people adopt AND declawing cats at their Houston Humane Society Wellness Clinic. HHS Board Member vet and past President and declawing at her practice
They don’t counsel people about what declawing is, they don’t tell cat owners that it is amputation surgery, or about the HUMANE alternatives.
They are deceiving cat owners to think that it is humane and ok for a cat.
Here is the link to their declaw service under the SPAY/NEUTER SECTION and they say it must be done with spay/neutering. Houston Humane Declaw $120
Screenshot from HHS website in August 2016
Updated screenshot from HHS website Sept 29,1016 with a disclaimer on it.
HHS increased their price of a declaw to $145. Screenshot from Feb. 2018
A few weeks ago many supporters sent me a heads up about a guy who was asking his friends on his facebook page this, “Anyone know of a cheap place to declaw cats? If these animals ruin my furniture, I will be asking about the price of euthanizing them. So this is a preventative measure for their sake.”
(I know, can you imagine trying to find a doctor who does cheap surgeries for your kids. Scary idea to say the least) So I read all the comments that this person was getting from the comment he made and this was one of them. I was shocked that a Humane Society did this.
(Just fyi people on facebook don’t seem to realize that every time they do a post, anyone in the world can see it unless your privacy settings are completely private. Just try it. Go to facebook and at search bar at the top, type in declaw or declawed. Click on “Latest.” About every 5 min you will see a post from someone, usually in America, who is saying they are going to declaw their cat or someone who is getting rid of their declawed kitty. It’s both disheartening and sickening to see how often this is going on in America and most people don’t even post about it. Multiply this by 100)
So I respectfully reached out to this person who wanted to get this cheap declaw and sure enough, it was about the Houston Humane Society.
This is what his wife wrote me back in an email to me,
“First of all, we have never been told that declawing was “amputation surgery” as you call it. Our vet, along with several others that we have called to get information, informed us that this surgery was a simple out patient procedure and that our kitties would be just fine. And yes, the Humane Society of Houston does allow declawing of the front claws for $120. And, as _ _ _ _ mentioned, that makes it seem humane. However, thanks to you, and all the random people who have been bombarding us all day, we have learned that our vets (and the 8 others we called), and the Humane Society are wrong. For that I thank you. Sincerely. We would have never known otherwise.”
I reached out to this Houston Humane Society privately on June 4 in phone calls AND emails to their public relations person, Monica Schmidt, and also the executive director Sherry Ferguson. I never received a reply. Mschmidt@houstonhumane.org , firstname.lastname@example.org
I did speak with a manager there and asked him about these facts.
Houston Humane Society declaw cats and doesn’t inform cat owners that it is inhumane or bad for the cats, you don’t counsel them on the humane alternatives, and you don’t tell them that it is amputation surgery. People are saying that if it is bad then why would the Houston Humane society do it and he said, “Basically the way we do it, it is cost effective. We have a low cost clinic here so we just can’t afford to have the more advanced methods doing it.”
Then I told him that I was confused about his answer. He said, “you are talking the laser correct?”
I said no, and explained in detail that the Houston Humane Society is perpetuating the myth that declawing is ok. Why would a humane society declaw cats.
He said, “We are an independent humane society and not affiliated with any other humane society. Basically, we don’t like to declaw cats and we don’t declaw every cat that is adopted at our facility it’s more if someone requests it and it’s an extra $120 if they request it. The way we see it, it’s better for a cat to be declawed and have a home than be here.”
I asked why they don’t inform the people about how bad declawing is and inform them.
He said, “It’s a fairly common practice so I don’t know why we wouldn’t do it. Basically if the person requests it then that’s what we will do for them if it is within the age range.”
He said, “I don’t work in the clinic so it’s not something I’m an expert at. They are very well informed about declawing and our head doctor has been with us for over 40 years. He’s a very good doctor. My opinion is that if he thinks it’s ok, then I think it’s ok.”
I asked if I could speak with him and he said, “His name is Dr Harkness and he doesn’t really talk to anybody.”
(UPDATE- AUG 4 DR HARKNESS RETIRED) Let’s hope they hire a veterinarian who can inspire the board members and Executive Director, Sherry Ferguson, to do the right thing and educate cat owners about declawing and the humane alternatives.)
I told him that I would like to reach out to his boss and try to ask these questions and inform them that declawing is inhumane. He repeated, ” Again, I don’t agree with that and if it gets cats out of here I think that’s better than being here.”
Here is the list of their staff so maybe you can get an answer to some of these important questions. #TakeTheHighRoad Houston Humane Society List of Staff Emails
Here is their facebook page Houston Humane Society Facebook Page
I also had my Feline Research Team call the Houston Humane Society in 2016 and ask them if there is any age limit that they declaw the cats. The findings were varied.
One employee, an assistant manager said, “We don’t like to do it but it is better for the cat to have a home.”
One employee said the age limit is “6 months- 4 yrs.” The employee was asked if there are any risks or negative consequences and the employee said, “no.” When they were asked if they use laser and they said, “no, they just clip it off.”
Another employee who is an assistant manager was asked about the age limit and he said, “6 months- 4yrs.” He was asked if the cat would be ok after being declawed and he said, “Yea they do it all the time, and they will be ok. Obviously there is a risk of surgery and I personally don’t recommend declawing cats but it’s pretty frequent thing they do here and most likely they will be ok.”
Another said that you shouldn’t declaw if your kitty is going to be an outside cat but otherwise it’s not inhumane if they are going to be inside cats and said there are no negative consequences to declawing.
2015 salaries for the Houston Humane Society Executive Director Sherry Ferguson — $152,109 plus $15,488 and the veterinarian who is in charge, Dr Timothy Harkness — $119,499 plus $8,593.(He has since retired)
Since the rate that they charged for declawing used to be $60 a couple years ago and now it’s $145, I wonder how much of their salaries are from the declawing of cats.
They even declaw kittens. VERY INFORMATIVE??? Why wouldn’t they just talk about the humane alternatives for this poor kitten?
Here is the Humane Society of the US information about declawing (HSUS is NOT connected to these independent humane societies in America) HSUS declawing info
Here is educational declawing information from the Winona Humane Society in Minnesota that maybe this HHS can use Educational Declawing Info.
Hopefully they will change their policy and not declaw cats at their clinic and when cats are adopted. If you can please politely educate and respectfully inspire them to join the rest of the Humane Society’s in the world that make people sign a form that says they won’t declaw any adopted cat and offer brochures and declawing information for people who come in to their adoption area.
Here is an example from the Oregon Humane Society and declawing info and other info they give to people who adopt their cats. Your New Cat- Oregon Humane Society
Please don’t threaten or be rude to anyone involved with this Houston Humane Society. 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.
Also, sounds like they don’t want to hear from any of us or let the world know about this injustice since they just keep deleting every single comment on their social media pages that people post that are respectful and educational. Then they also block the people who write these inspiring comments.
It’s sad that these kind of people just don’t want to do the right thing when it comes to declawing cats at their humane society.
If you post a respectful and educational comment on their instagram or fb page then please get a screenshot of it and send it to me. Here are some of the many examples of what people are writing and then they are deleting.