by Ruth

Many vet techs and receptionists in the USA and Canada are speaking out against declawing at the risk of losing their jobs.

poster image showing greedy veterinarians who like declawing cats

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Poster by Ruth (AKA Kattaddorra)

I have heard of some who actually have been fired and say it was well worth it because of the number of cats claws they had saved before they were found out to be educating clients and stopping some of them from going ahead with such cruel surgery.


Only once in the many years I worked with vets was I asked by a client if she could book her cat in for declawing. I hadn’t worked at the practice long and my blood ran cold at the thought of such a cruel operation, I’d never even heard of it.

I decided there and then that if the vet agreed to do it I’d walk right out of my job, taking the unfortunate cat with me and damn the consequences.

However I needn’t have worried because the vet who owned the practice soon gave the client a sharp lecture about doing something so unthinkable. He also told her she wouldn’t find a vet in the entire UK willing to declaw her cat.

So when I first read about USA and Canadian receptionists taking bookings and vet techs assisting at declawings even though most were against it, I was shocked. I could never have done that.

But on second thoughts, after having contact with many of them, I realise they are to be admired for caring for those cats, because who else would? Certainly not the vets who perform the surgery and walk away from the aftermath. Maybe those brave techs have been trying to educate clients all along ?

I’m afraid I couldn’t ever have worked for any declaw vet, maybe I’m a coward, maybe if I’d been born in the USA or Canada I might have been brave enough to do some under cover education but I don’t think so as I could never watch a cat being mutilated in that or any other way.

I am full of admiration for those who are speaking out, losing their jobs but letting those declaw vets know they can’t keep on getting away with this money making surgery.

Too many people know the truth about it now.

I count my blessings every day that I live in the UK and have never ever seen a declawed cat in real life, my heart breaks at the very thought.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Comments for

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Feb 14, 2012 Declare declawing as cruelty to animals NEW
by: Chris Harris

If the organizations like the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (the HSUS) would just stopped beating around the bush and came out and declared declawing was cruelty towards animals, that would go a long way towards ending this mutilating surgery in both the U.S. AND Canada.

Then vet techs and vets who are against declawing could be somewhat protected under whistleblower status. Those laws may not give adequate protection considering wrongful termination of employment is still expensive and time consuming to fight in court, but it would be helpful, no?

What about lobbying the HSUS to declare declawing animals is cruel?

There’s enough evidence to show that declawing doesn’t keep cats in homes and only a tiny percent of current cat owners (about 4 percent)would seriously consider giving up their cats if they couldn’t get their toe ends amputated.
References, “Declawing and Science”,

Feb 12, 2012 Keep up the good work NEW
by: Edward

You vet tech ladies deserve a pat on the back for what you do and risk the sack and even some got sacked.
At least you tried to stop the cruel vets from harming cats and you are still telling people who dont know all about it.
Id hate to live in a country where vets are so cruel that Id worry about taking my cats there if they were ill.
I couldnt trust a vet who axes cats toe ends off.

Feb 12, 2012 I’m a Fortunate One NEW
by: Jessica

The first DVM I worked for, almost 10 years ago, recommended 4 paws on all of his patients. He told me to my face that he made lots of money on it…Ignorantly, I had no idea what declawing even was. After the first time I had to assist and hear the bones crunching, I felt ill. The post-op horror was worse. He & I butted heads in general but he was blown away when I told him I would not assist any longer for declaws. I didn’t lose my job but not much later, I left. I currently work for a great DVM and her non-DVM husband who have been incredibly open to my education. I do not have any restrictions on what I can say or do. They know that I handle the clients well and have enough experience to educate them. They bought another existing practice about 30 minutes from ours and asked me to go speak to the staff and DVMs there about the best ways to approach clients. It was wonderful 🙂 I wish that my boss would just finally say that she will NOT declaw at all. But it’s been a full year since she has done one and I honestly don’t think she will perform one if asked to at this point.

Feb 11, 2012 Another good comment on facebook NEW
by: Ruth

T says:
Declawing vets say “good riddance” when an employee with a conscience leaves or is fired. They don’t grasp the fact that it only means these people are now FREE TO TELL THE TRUTH WITHOUT FEAR.

Feb 10, 2012 Kudos for these ladies ! NEW
by: Ruth

On one of the facebook anti declaw groups are comments coming in from people who work/worked for vets:

M says ‘I’m one of them’
(speaking out about declawing at the risk of losing her job)

S says ‘I’m not a Tech, but I lost my job at my own vet’s office because I would offer alternatives to clients who were calling to schedule a *mutilation* (declaw, ear crop, tail dock)’

As more people who work for vets speak out maybe those vets will get the message that mutilating cats to make money is NOT acceptable to those who work for them.

Feb 08, 2012 Vet tech’s NEW
by: Leah England

A very thought provoking article Ruth however I just don’t know what to think. I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of the Vet techs and I really don’t think I could do their job. I couldn’t cope with that needless suffering on a day to day basis I think I would have some sort of a break down.

Having said that I think that the genuine Vet techs who stay in the job to save as many claws as possible are brave beyond belief. I can’t even begin to comprehend how it must be for you.

To the scum bags masquerading as Vets I hope you all rot in hell; a hell full of torture and pain. In fact this would be too good for you.

Feb 08, 2012 Transparent Rationalizations NEW
by: Kathleen

Raise the issue of profit motive with most vets, and they will tell you that “I have to stay in business or else I won’t be able to help any animals.” This is more self-serving B.S, in my opinion. People who genuinely want to help animals will find a way to do so, regardless of the funds and facilities available to them. It is not necessary for a vet to pay a huge overhead on a building in order to help animals: They have forgotten the days when vets (and human MDs, for that matter) made house calls. The majority of what goes on in an animal hospital, with the exception of x rays and surgery, can be accomplished in a house call. I know this because one vet hospital I worked for (before being fired for educating about declawing) was *forced* to make house calls temporarily after their building was once gutted by a fire. “Staying in business” means maintaining the level of comfort and convenience and the standard of living the vet has become accustomed to. It has nothing at all to do with helping animals, for which a good vet needs nothing but his or her know-how.

Feb 08, 2012 Money money money NEW
by: Anonymous

What I can’t get my head around is how vets who you’d reckon trained to help animals because they want to can put money over their clients cats welfare.
It doesn’t make sense knowing the civilised world is hating them for doing it and they must know what they are doing is wrong,yet they keep on doing it.
Not only is money more important to them than cats but it must also be more important than the respect vets who refuse to declaw get.
It’s a criminal act in a lot of countries,what more proof do they need that it’s cruel?

Feb 08, 2012 Thought provoking NEW
by: Jane A

A great poster Ruth and a thought provoking article too!
I should think many vet techs go home at the end of a day of seeing cats crippled by declawing and find it hard to switch off.
I know I couldn’t!
Kudos to the ones who save as many cats claws as they can every day and risk losing their livlehood.
It’s a dreadful shame they are in that position because their employers have no scruples or morals about harming cats to make dollars.

Feb 07, 2012 Anti Declaw Vet Techs. NEW
by: Maggie

I think that most vet techs are anti declaw because it’s not their business, they aren’t in it for the money, but also because they’ve probably seen the blood and gore in the cage after the declaw.

Any vet tech who is advocating against declawing should be proud, and should continue to do what they’re doing. Because they’re potentially saving lives, and are saving many cats from ending up in shelters due to developing numerous behaviour issues.

Great article, Ruth. I hope it’s read by many vet techs, so they understand the good they’re doing.

Feb 07, 2012 Common Dilemma NEW
by: Kathleen

In my experience, the *majority* of veterinary support staff are against declawing, but do and say what their employers tell them to out of fear of losing their jobs. (This can sometimes include the associate vets who are not the practice owners, as well.) It truly is the practice owners who set the tone for the clinic and who decide how much education will be allowed. The business owners are the ones who most need to get the message that public opinion about declawing is changing, and they need to change with the times. Thanks for addressing this issue.

Feb 07, 2012 Blood money NEW
by: Mrs M

Declawing doctors obviously don’t want their staff telling people not to declaw their cats and “he who pays the piper calls the tune”
I can see why some techs have no choice but to accept blood money in their wage packets and their employers should be ashamed of forcing them into assisting at their mutilation of cats.

Feb 07, 2012 Thank you NEW
by: Ruth

Thanks everyone,I’m enjoying making posters again now my new computer is up and running.
Kelly it’s good to have a comment from someone who knows exactly the position vet techs are in, it must be horrible to have no choice but to work for a declaw vet in order to feed your family.
The sooner declawing is banned, the better!
The only unhappy people will be the declaw vets at their loss of dollars and the cold hearted people who know how cruel declawing is but value their furniture more than their cat.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 07, 2012 Tough Call For Some NEW
by: Kelly

Great article Ruth! For me, it is an easy choice. I have worked for vets that declaw, and having watched the horrid aftermath first hand, I made a concious decision to NEVER do it again. I have been fired for educating people and talking them out of the surgery. For some techs though, it is a little more difficult. Jobs are scarce, and for those that are single moms etc., they can not afford to be out of work.

It is why we fight so hard to ban this cruel practice. Im looking forward to the day when techs wont have to make a choice between feeding their families and caring for the animals they have devoted their lives to.

Feb 07, 2012 Another way of looking at it NEW
by: Rose

I’ve often wondered how vet techs who love cats can help at declaw operations which they must know cripples the cats.
Now I am looking at it another way,the good they can do by sticking with the job and letting clients know the truth for as long as they can.
But I have also read of some vet techs who like their employers don’t see any cruelty in declawing.
I suppose there are good and bad vet techs just like there are good and bad vets.
BTW I love the poster,I’m glad you are back to doing them.

Feb 07, 2012 A different way of thinking NEW
by: Barbara

You got me thinking there Ruth, before reading your article I admit I was judgemental of vet techs working at practices that declaw, thinking they were as bad as the vet for condoning it, even helping the vet to operate. But yes I can see that some brave souls probably hate declawing but stick with the job for the sake of helping the unfortunate cats that they can’t prevent from being declawed, and to get valuable undercover pictures and info to help in the fight against declawing. Brilliant article and poster.

Barbara avatar

Feb 07, 2012 Vet Tech NEW
by: Michael

Why are vet techs more moral in their behavior than the veterinarian in the United States?

It is probably because the veterinarian has to run a business and get in all the money that he can.

While the vet tech is salaried. But the salaried person can lose their job.

Bottom line: it has to be about money and profit etc. which overrides morality.

Declawing is undoubtedly immoral. Vets don’t want to admit that to themselves or other people. They are in denial.

There are a lot of people in denial. The most prominent person in the world in denial at Feb 7th 2012 is Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria. He denies he is killing thousands of his own people seeking democracy. He was taught by his father who did the same thing decades earlier.

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