HomeDeclawingI Want to Interview Vets Who Declaw Cats


I Want to Interview Vets Who Declaw Cats — 31 Comments

  1. I am a current 3rd year student studying veterinary medicine. I don’t think that a) I’ll ever be taught to perform a declaw, as they are heavily discouraged in our curriculum and an emphasis on behavioral modification to curb problematic behaviors is stressed instead, and b) I don’t think I could ethically justify declawing a cat myself. That being said, I don’t think that the procedure should be universally banned. I think that most vets should discourage owners from pursuing this as an option, and should refuse to declaw cats with the exception of a few extreme circumstances. I’ve actually seen my mentor be put in a really difficult ethical situation with regards to the decision to declaw a cat or not.
    I would be happy to answer any questions people may have about the current attitudes of declawing at my university, my opinions about “special circumstances,” or why I oppose a universal ban on the procedure.

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for commenting and providing a vet’s insight into declawing. If you are reading this I’d like to ask you some questions which I’ll formulate and put into another comment.

      I am pleased you have the sort of attitude to declawing that I’d expect a vet to have: don’t do it unless it is for the cat’s health and welfare. It is nice to read that.

      However, many vets in the USA don’t have your attitude. They declaw for profit and cause pain and distress to millions of cats as a consequence. My experience tells me that the American vet (taken as a whole) won’t give it up and therefore it has to be banned.

      Vets in general can’t be trusted to do the right thing. That is not to say that there aren’t many vets who dislike declawing for non-therapeutic reasons. There is a certain amount of peer pressure I feel too. Some vets can’t stop because they feel they will be ostracised if they do.

  2. Why don’t you all turn your attention to those cats, which far outnumber anything in your book over there in the U.K. to what I see everyday here in the States. Semi-ferals and strays who not even the most supposedly “important” professors on campus care about, and actually encourage their students to torment and torture? I have *so* UNFORTUNATELY had to protect a few of these cats on my field trips while ID’ing trees in the dead of winter. In fact, I commented on this over twelve months ago, and got no comment on this. Turn you attention away for a few seconds, and focus on the United States educational system, would you? It start there!

    • So, Michael, if I am leaving comments on OUR website PoC about my veterinarian Dr. Becky Arnold, then I should certainly leave at least one comment about Prof. Richard ‘dick’ Sutton, my “professor,” who deemed himself worthy of commanding the eighteen-yr-old males during our field trips, to throw ice clods at a poor cat who reached out looking for help while we were walking by. I’m sure you can imagine, as the only female and compassionate student, what I HAD to say! grrrrr….
      So good for you and everybody over there in the U.K., for being so persevering…in your endeavors to criticize Dr. Arnold and, thanks, me. Why don’t YOU take any action?

      • Caroline we shouldn’t even have to be taking action over declawing because it does not and never has happened in our country, but 5/6 years ago when the UK ‘troops’ formed there were not so many Americans educating about the cruelty of it whilst trying to get it banned.
        How could we stand by and do nothing to help?
        If it had been in our country we’d have been out on the streets educating, with posters and petitions but when Michael organised a protest at St Louis intending to come over and lead it at his own expense, even though 400+ Americans said they would attend…every single one backed out.
        It was left to around 8 of START, the ‘St Louis Animal Rights team’ to protest and be ignored by the vets, they couldn’t have ignored a crowd of 400+
        Lethargy has let declawing go on for decades.Thankfully now there are many more anti declaws but too late to save the thousands of cats whose lives were ruined by declawing.
        We can’t fight all your USA battles for you, we have enough of our own here, but stopping the legalised abuse called declawing is so very important we need to concentrate on that with as much of our time as we can manage.
        So don’t ask us ‘Why don’t YOU take action’ because we are already taking as much action as we possibly can! Michael’s PoC has saved numerous claws, I call that taking action!

            • Could we reconvene tmrw? It is so late for me; I have to lie down and get off of this laptop. Shrimpster has been leaning on me heavily since Luck passed. I stopped breathing yesterday and had to be resuscitated, so I am fairly sure that I need some sleep. <3

  3. I know just the vet to start with. In my opinion she pretty much makes the bulk of her living cutting off the toes of cats. She’s very active in rescue and runs a monthly low cost spay/neuter clinic, I often wonder if she does this good things in the hopes it will offset the bad karma from the evil she does.

    • You make a good point, as far as I am concerned, namely that this vet probably does the low-cost spray/neuter to present a good image to the world. I think that makes it worse because it’s devious or she so stupid she doesn’t even realise that she’s doing something terribly wrong in declawing cats. The difficult thing is getting people to talk about it honestly or talk about it at all.

      • No luck so far, I think the declaw vets know they are in the wrong, that being interviewed will show them up as the cat abusers they are. It’s sickening! No amount of good works by any of these vets can make up for the evil they commit on cats.

  4. Michael I’m really excited by your plans to travel to America. Pro de-claw vets can at last put their money where their mouth is and stand by their convictions after all I don’t think they have a choice when we get down to the nitty gritty; if they are so sure of themselves and so justified in what they do why wouldn’t they want to shout about how great it is?

    And if not Michael? Well you have them don’t you by the short and curlies so to speak because if they refuse then this can only mean one thing! They are wrong on every level and you can shout it from the roof tops!!

    Couldn’t you interview them from a neutral basis? Perhaps tricking them into thinking you are interviewing them to discuss the benefits of de-clawing? You could then tie them in knots on record and if they won’t carry on once they realise what’s going on yet again they will show the world what they really are!

    • Couldn’t you interview them from a neutral basis?

      Yes, Leah. I plan to talk to them from an entirely neutral basis. Just straight questions looking for straight answers. There is no need to do anything else because in giving simple answers to straightforward questions a veterinarian will have to admit that what he does is wrong because it is wrong.

      I have an uneasy feeling that I will not be able to make this work because no one will want to come forward. What I will try and do as well is see if I can talk to cat owners who think declawing cats is OK. I’m hoping that it will be easier to get this sort of person to talk because I have a bad feeling about veterinarians coming forward.

  5. I think you would be hard pressed to find a cooperative vet that would have the balls to admit to declawing, much less be interviewed.
    I so wish you could though.

  6. Michael, you are right. I am starting to realize it is more widespread than I originally thought. Thank you for fighting and helping spread the word on how wrong this is. So sad for these beautiful animals. I am afraid it will not be banned in my lifetime.

    • Cindy I’m pleased as well that you don’t know anyone who would de-claw but I’m also pleased you’re beginning to realise how much actually goes on I’m hoping that because of this you can help spread the word.

  7. Personally, I do not know one person that declaws their cat. I have never even considered doing something so cruel to an animal that I claim to love. I have a lot of rescue friends and have seen so many senior declaws dumped at kill shelters. If there are not problems at a young age it seems a lot are having issues as they start getting older. It is terrible to see them left to die alone and abandoned by the very person that inflicted so much damage, while claiming to have loved them. Very sad for these cats.

    • I am very pleased that you don’t know one person that because the cat. You know decent people. Sadly, almost all veterinarians in the USA declaw cats. Only a very very small percentage don’t. And of course these veterinarians supply a service to people and therefore I have to conclude that a lot of people in America, may be about half of Americans believe that declawing is acceptable.

      • Michael…I do follow up calls for a Humane Society and, although, they claim to be humane, I just don’t see it. They took the “no declaw” paragraph out of the paperwork, I still ask them if they plan to do this and about 90% say “absolutely not”! The ones that say they plan to do this reverse their decision when they hear me tell them what declawing actually is and what it entails. There are still the arrogant few that tell me , basically, to mind my own business. It breaks my heart when I fail but…….it happens. Education works 9 out of 10 times. Keep it up.

        • Thanks for the comment, Denise. Yes education is vital. It is everything and the vets should be doing it. Regrettably, they tend to do the opposite and educate people with the idea that declawing is acceptable.

  8. Ruth,

    Don’t you love it in the description of laser services posted on Kevin Russell’s website that totally describes declaw surgery but never mentions the name of the procedure? Sneaky little bastard.

    It’s vets like this one that invites cat OWNERS to visit his practice and then I bet he goes into a sale’s pitch.

    These vets get me so angry. SIGH… there are no more words I can use to vent my wrath. Thanks for an excellent post!

  9. Wow Michael, yes go for it, your calm direct manner would force them to answer your questions and those answers would be very interesting to all of us anti declaws.
    I hope some Americans can help you set this up, I have a good few anti declaw contacts there who I will share this article with.
    This is a brilliant idea.

    • I would love to do this. I’d love to do it on television! I’d love to do it anywhere as long as a video camera is focused on the veterinarian because there is no way they can justify declawing and therefore an interview would expose the fraud that it is.

      The great difficulty is obtaining the agreement of a vet to be interviewed. I’m almost certain that none will come forward and I’m almost certain that our friends overseas will be unable to convince a veterinarian to participate.

      Ruth, if you can use your connections to try and help set this up that will be great but don’t worry if it is impossible.

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