Can a cat rescue organization be a genuine shelter if they declaw cats?

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

The words “declaw” and “rescue” or “shelter” don’t go together. A Michigan rescue organization, Wags and Whiskers, advertised seven kittens for adoption on Petfinder as follows:

“We just got 7 new babies back from foster homes. They are a variety of colrs and both males and females. They are 9 weeks old and will be ready for their new, 100% indoor homes 4/16/15. They can be separated. They will be tested, vaccinated, dewormed, front declawed, and spayed/neutered. They are friendly, litter box trained and used to being handled. Adoption donation of $195 each to help defray the cost of the vet care.”

The declawing that they do is packaged in with vaccinations and deworming as if declcawing is the same sort of treatment when it positively is not. It is ten amputations carried out at the same time in 15 minutes. It is not always done that accurately. There are many possible medical complications despite what declaw advocates state.

By declawing they automatically make their cats indoor cats. There are a lot of people in authority who would like all cats to remain indoors or within the confines of the owner’s home. Is someone putting pressure on Wags and Whiskers to ensure their cats end up indoor only?

How many rescue organizations automatically declaw cats before they are adopted out? Why are they presuming that their clients accept declawing? Not all Americans accept declawing. Many millions strongly dislike it. By declawing kittens they are narrowing the number of possible adopters.

It is more serious that though, in my eyes. A rescue organization’s purpose is to rescue and shelter cats. Their role is to protect their cats from harm and to make sure they are healthy and confident when adopted.

Declawing is regarded by about 500 million people in other countries as a form of cat cruelty and a crime. Therefore by the standard of this huge number of people this cat shelter is involved in cat cruelty on a grand scale and in effect gravely injuring the cat for non-therapeutic purposes.

They can’t legitimately describe themselves as a “shelter”. They are more like the opposite: cat abusers. It defies logic to me.

It appears that Wags and Whiskers is run by a veterinarian and a vet tech who work at the Allen Animal Hospital.

The advert quoted above was justifiably criticized by anti-declaw people. On protesting, the advert was apparently changed to read:

“These two sweet sisters are available and looking for their forever homes. They can be separated. The one who looks black and white actually has orange coloring too and is calico. Her sister is a torti. They have been spayed, tested neg., vaccinated, dewormed and front declawed.”

This is not much different but what happened to the other five? It is not illegal to declaw in the USA except for in 8 cities in California.

However, even the toothless AVMA say it should be a last resort. Declawing cats and kittens on an automatic basis as if it is the equivalent of deworming is about as far from the AVMA guidelines as it is possible to envisage and it’s a breach of oath.

Wags and Whiskers is not a shelter in my opinion. It is a processor of vulnerable cats and kittens and when they arrive they are in jeopardy of suffering a grave injury at the hands of “carers”. It is a dangerous place for cats.

Source: Michigan rescue changes Petfinder ad after stating kittens will be declawed – Greenville Cats |

17 thoughts on “Can a cat rescue organization be a genuine shelter if they declaw cats?”

  1. Declawing isn’t cheap and the money they are wasting on it, could be spent on surgery or treatments which actually help a sick animal get better.

  2. Not only is it wrong for rescues or shelters to promote declawing, but how much money are they spending on this unnecessary surgery, which could be better spent elsewhere.

  3. Sadly, they’re driven by what they believe will make kits more adoptable. They’re out of touch with the current Paws Project movement. Hopefully, someone will enlighten them.

  4. The AVMA is toothless, spineless , and qualifies as lily-livered. When confronted, they claim that declawing will keep cats in their homes. We all know that is bunk! Just ask the shelters.

    I agree that a shelter can not be used to describe any organization that declaws cats/kittens. Unnecessary amputation is definitely torture that lasts a life time. Just think of all those cats whose owners won’t take them to the vet for yearly paw x-rays that check for problems from the declaw surgery.

    To insist that these kittens must be 100% indoor cats is naive. I know that there are a huge number of declawed cats rescued from the streets and country sides where the owners either let them out or tossed them out, usually for behavioral issues resulting from the declaw surgery. Most of them are starving to death because they can’t catch food. The rest have been injured because they can’t even climb trees to get out of harms way.

    These “shelters” need to either stop declawing or close their doors! End of story!

    Maybe we should get human amputees to stand up for these poor kitties. Maybe then, people would listen to us about declawing?

    • It is quite possible that because Wags and Whiskers is run by a veterinarian and a vet tech who work at the Allen Animal Hospital, they are promoting declawing to increase revenue at the vet clinic. If this is the case, SHAME ON THEM!!!

  5. I might add that probably many people are unaware of what declawing really means. A rescue organisation should know though. Shame on them. How to educate people??


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