Recommended: Pine Grove Animal Hospital, Colorado

If you are within reasonable driving distance of Pine Grove Animal Hospital, Colorado, I would ask you to please use it. Register with the hospital or do whatever you have to do to make them your friends.

Pine Grove Animal Hospital

Pine Grove Animal Hospital

There are not many animal hospitals like this one in the USA. Their decision to no longer perform elective declaw surgery on cats means that they are placing cat welfare before financial profit, which is the greatest praise you can bestow upon an animal health business. It shows they care, really care about animal health and welfare, which in turn should mean better care for the animals in their charge.

Pine Grove Animal Hospital was established in 1999 by Dr. John Hess. Praise Dr Hess. Write to him and say thanks for making the decision to stop declawing cats for the convenience of the cat’s owner, which is what “elective declaw surgery on cats” means.

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I want to see his animal hospital swamped with new clients so that he has to expand. I want to see Dr Hess become a multi-millionaire within two years. If he is already one, I want to see him get much richer. The richest vet in the US.

I want to show the world how a veterinarian can make great profits and not declaw cats. It is possible. I think a vet can make more money by not declawing (in the long-term) than from taking the short-term expedient, and cat abuse route, of declawing which is a bread and butter money-spinner in the USA.

But let’s get one thing clear. Dr Hess must stick religiously to what he says he will do. He has not totally banned declawing at his hospital. He says he will still perform declaw surgery when necessary for the medical needs of the cat. Examples are cases of severe infection, tumor removal, and unrepairable trauma to the claw.

Fine, that is OK, but these are rare conditions, so please do not abuse that get-out clause, Dr Hess. That caveat is not there for the purposes of wriggling around your promise.

My philosophy is to trust people initially. Treat people as honest at the outset until they screw up, then dump them.

I trust that Dr Hess will stick to his pledge to stop declawing cats. Test him. Go to the hospital and ask questions about declawing. Request it. The response should be a firm NO. If it is, give the receptionist some gushing praise. If not, tell us — leave a comment.

In the meantime, and on the basis that Dr Hess is on the level and totally truthfully, give him a kiss (if you are a woman!) when you take your cat the surgery. Do it for all the cats who have been cruelly mutilated for the convenience of their owner.

Dr. Hess says:

“My core, guiding philosophy is always doing what is best for the pet. I cannot conclude that it is best for a cat to cut off its toes. This video is very powerful and I’m in full agreement with it.”

The video he is referring to is the new film produced by The Paw Project.

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Recommended: Pine Grove Animal Hospital, Colorado — 17 Comments

  1. Thank goodness The Paw Project video is getting to some vets and persuading them to stop declawing cats. I hope all vets stop of their own accord, Dr Hess should not nave have been declawing anyway, that is not ‘doing what is best for the pet’ but at least if we thank the ones like him and hopefully he gets more cat clients now, it will show the declaw vets we know that they are in the wrong.

    • Well said Ruth. Dr Hess has hurt cats, for sure, for no reason other than to please his human client – bad.

      But as you say, we should promote him because he has changed and change is what we desperately need.

      Every vet who “defects” from the distorted world of veterinary declawing is worth a lot because it represents change and a more modern thinking that may be followed.

  2. Colorado is pretty far away from me (and cold – YIKES!), but Dr. Hess sounds wonderful. This is what we need – vets speaking out and going public when they aren’t willing to harm animals.
    We need a huge domino effect.

  3. Apologies for getting the title and URL (web address) wrong. It is just old age, world blindness and carelessness. I have changed both the URL and the title but the new URL will cause some broken links. Sorry.

    • It would make me very happy if other hospitals in the area followed their lead. And, yes, I’d like it if they published a statement to tell us how stopping declawing had no negative impact on their profits.

  4. Great news I hope that soon there are so many vets who won’t declaw that the ones who do lose all their cat clients,if I lived in America I’d boycott the cruel vets for sure.

  5. What a lovely website. I think it is outrageous that people will still have their cats claws removed. These people cannot call themselves cat lovers.

    • Thank you Samantha. We agree that it is outrageous that people want to remove their cat’s claws and often it is done to kittens. It makes me feel sick thinking about it.

  6. This is what Dr Hess says on his clinic facebook page:

    ‘Thank you to everyone who responded. My purpose was to help raise awareness of this issue because I believe the sooner we veterinarians take some time to think about it, more and more of us will choose not to perform this procedure. I appreciate the supportive replies, they’re far beyond anything I expected’

    • Great, well spotted Ruth. You see, from a purely commercial point of view – which is the best way to get vets to change – he has great publicity from his decision. He’ll likely do well from this. Of course I am thinking of cats myself. I just wish more vets thought about cats rather than money.

      I’d be interested to see how this story develops. If it goes well as I expect some other vets may well follow.

  7. Just been mulling this over and while we are right to congratulate vets who stop declawing we should also thank those who have never declawed and take our business to them if they are near us as they have not caused countless cats to suffer.
    It’s like the prodigal son though getting praised while good people rarely get thanked for being good.
    Look at all these vets who stick to their oath

    • Nice point, Rose. As you say, vets who have never declawed a cat can be overlooked yet they are better – they have never caused unnecessary suffering through declawing.

    • Yes I agree Rose it’s a shame that the vets who have never declawed are not being praised, now I have an idea for another PoC article, thank you.

      • For an American vet to not declaw is rare and these vets must be mentally strong because peer pressure and client pressure will drive vets to declaw. It is like swimming upstream.

        Clearly some vets don’t want to be a vet unless they stick to their oath. The veterinarian’s oath means something to these vets.

  8. I’ve liked the page and left a thank you as well its just wonderful news I just hope that more will follow suit as now business in a particular area likes to be ‘the last man standing’. I would love to see a domino effect 🙂 Well done to The Paw Project for all their influence.

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