FROM THE DHOS MAIL BAG...
"Hello, I am a veterinarian in the state of Washington. I found your hate mail section to be the most humorous thing I have come across in a while. Although it doesn’t surprise me, but I am again shocked that these veterinarians say such horrible things, and then wonder why they are considered mean. I have never and will never do declaws, tail docking (unless medically indicated/broken etc), ear cropping, debarking and the like because they are not only unnecessary but painful. Keep it up, the public should know more about the pain and risks of declawing. Dr. Brad Evergreen (www.evergreenholisticvet.com)"
"I would like to add that although I think your site is doing an immense amount of good in educating people of the horrors of cat declawing, which is one of the first things we need to do, I do think that we need to step up a pace and pro-actively campaign to get the law changed throughout the USA and Canada. We need more feet on the streets, more fingers on the keyboard, more and louder protests, more letters written to government officials and politicians! We need to get out there in numbers and make our voices heard in any way that is lawful. There are still too many people out there who don't realise what declawing means, or that it condemns a cat to a lifetime of needless crippling pain and misery. As these lists of shame illustrate all too clearly, there are far too many vets who actively advertise, encourage and promote this wicked, evil practise purely for monetary gain. It is of no benefit to cats whatsoever. It beggars belief how any vet, who is trained to alleviate animal suffering, can bring themselves to perform this unspeakably cruel act on a helpless cat, merely out of greed for profit, and deliberately mislead clients into thinking that the procedure is 'normal' and 'necessary'. These vets are a disgrace to their profession and should be banned from ever practising again. I implore you, people, to write those letters and emails and get the message out there to those who do not know of the existence of this website - they NEED to know"
"Please add Banning Veterinary Clinic to your list of Hall Of Shame. They persuaded my parents to declaw 3 of our 5 cats. I was able to save the two from this torture. One of the cats they declawed had such problems with the litter box we had to use a puppy training pad her whole life... 14 years!!! They still do this and still talk about how benificial it is. Never a mention of training or Soft Paws. Please add them. I would never take an animal back to them. I now see Dr. Sigestadt in Loma Linda. He doesn't encourage declawing. Thank you."
"One of Dr. Peter Balasky's (Balasky Animal Hospital, Davie, FL) clients recently applied to adopted two kittens from a rescue group that I volunteer for after her beloved previous cat had died. This was her answer to my question, "Do you plan to declaw your cat?":
'My previous cat was declawed. When I told Dr. Balasky that this time around I would not declaw as I heard it was cruel, he told me that was ridiculous and it was not cruel.' This is a person who cared for her previous cat into extreme old age and infirmity, taught it to do to tricks, and said without being prompted that she wanted to learn to brush her new cats' teeth so they would not suffer the dental disease her previous cat did. And yet this caring and dedicated cat keeper is being ENCOURAGED to declaw her not-yet-acquired, hypothetical new cats by Pimp Balasky. God forbid he miss a chance to make a sale... cha-ching. Feel free to post any portion of this email on your site."**
"Keep up the good work. I find it horrifying that this practice is allowed to continue. Thankfully, this is not common practise in Australia and I have never seen or heard of a cat being de-clawed, although I’m sure it happens here too on occasion. It is not something that Australian vets encourage or promote."
"I love your web site! Thank you so much for creating it. You are doing such a wonderful service. And, I am proud say, that I talked a friend out of declawing her new kitten. She had come from a family of declawers, and thought it was normal. (Is declawing a genetic fault, I wonder?) And a few weeks later, she told me that her sister was getting a cat, and that she too talked her sister out of declawing. She was just so horrified at what the procedure entailed. Keep up the good work!"
"Hello, I just got an advertisement for a brand new vet office a 1/2 mile away from my house. I called and a friendly woman answered. I said "Hi, do you declaw?" She said, "Yes, we do laser declawing." I said, "Okay, thanks goodbye" and hung up. I hope you can add them to the list. The last thing we need in my area is another declawing vet. Here is the ad:
Grand Opening - Assisi Veterinary Hospital
*Brand New State of the Art Facility
•All Facets of Veterinary Medicine - Including Laser Surgery
•Take a tour and meet our friendly staff - $30 Exam
Dr. Ricarlos Guzman
250 Hempstead Avenue
"Thank you again, Leo, for confirming yet again that another vet should be smacked. But this time you chose one (Dr. Laurel Leach) that I would really like to strangle with my bare hands. Last year she and her staff were supposed to be treating a kitten of ours for a very mild urinary tract infection, but she insisted that the 6 week old kitten be given a full round of vaccinations, deworming, and the whole nine yard$$$$. Needless to say the kitten almost died from a vaccine reaction, and she and her staff, deny any wrongdoing. Our volunteers have chosen to see another vet, gather records, and have vets write letters to the veterinary board recommending an investigation of these DVMs. I suggest that the veterinary board be made well aware of the serval's illegal declaw. They will do more than the LA DA's office."
"Hey there, just found your site. Great job. The subject of declawing has prompted me, after having had many of the usual heated debates/rows on various internet ommunities with people giving stupid reasons for declawing (yeah, you know them all, I´m sure!), to educate as much as I could first but then leave those communities, and open my own one on Live Journal: http://community.livejournal.com/cats_with_claws. The ANTI-DECLAWING community! We have over 300 members and every week there are a few more. I have taken the liberty of putting a link to your site on our info page, and hope that you might want to link to the Cats With Claws community as well....Keep up the good work. :)"
"I am putting my 2 cents worth...I want to debunk a few myths that SOME vets tell their clients... First, we use good pain control to keep them painfree post-op...BIG LIE. Not that they don't use the meds, they do. But coming from someone who has broken a number of bones...it HURTS, evern with good drugs. Second, it's a "routine" surgery. There is no 'routine' surgery. Yes, it is VERY common, and relatively easy surgery, but anesthesia should never be taken lightly (animals do die under anesthesia) ALL surgeries have potential complications and even the best surgeons have complications. You cannot anticipate how that animal will be effected post-op - such as the biting and other changes to the personality of the cat after surgery that other posters have reported -- I have seen them all. Third, I do have one bone to pick with one of the vets or assistants who said "it's not the vet's decision, it's the owner's." I ask you to get a backbone. The owner can decide to do whatever they want, but that does not mean that the vet HAS to do it. My vet for one will NOT do pregnant spays OR dog spays in heat. And no amount of money or ranting or raving will make her do it. So you see, it IS the vets final decision. Lastly, to the ANGRY people who post things like, "you are a bunch of liberals..." Since when is that an insult? and to the person(s) who think that animal causes are not worthy of anyone's energy...God/Goddess/Spirit, et al. made us ALL and crimes against animals most often lead to crimes against people... and people that learn to treat animals with respect, usually learn to treat people with respect. I believe this site serves a purpose...EDUCATION. The shock value may just get the word out. "
"Surely Banfield, the Pet Hospital, deserves a place of dishonor on your site. Perhaps in reaction to negative feedback, Banfield put an asterisk-sized fig leaf on their declaw pimping (The ever-popular "discuss with your veterinarian"... it's like "discuss your used car-purchasing decision with your helpful used car salesman".) But the message that declawing is part of "Optimal Wellness" for your kitten is unmistakable. Banfield clinics are mostly in PetSmarts, so I guess that makes PetSmart pimps by proxy."
"Hey guys. Came across another group of pimps. According to Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Banfield, which has over 550 vet clinics across the US , mostly in PetSmart stores, plans to promote declawing through its new Optimum Wellness Plan for kittens. PetSmart has Banfield in 60% of their stores. PetSmart has a 31% equity position in Medical Mangement International which operates (owns) Banfield. In other words, PetSmart profits from everything that Banfield does. Please let PetSmart know that you are very disappointed that they support kitten declawing by allowing Banfield to promote it in their stores. Maybe if PetSmart realizes that Banfield's decision will reflect poorly on them, PetSmart will force them to take this barbaric practice off their Wellness Plan."
"Keep up the good work you are doing. Every time someone says, "I was thinking of declawing my cat, but then I looked it up on the internet" you know you are making a difference. But I have to say, your site is a little misleading in that it may give the impression that the "pimps" and "pushers" are the minority of US vets, when if fact they are the vast majority. The Paw Project sites a survey that found 75% of LA vets declawed any cat, no questions asked. If the people who visit your site want an eye-opener (and a stomach-turner), you should invite them to open their own Yellow Pages and start calling up vets one after another and asking them about their policy on declawing. I think they will find that the most common response by far is to try to schedule the declaw surgery."
"Please add Central Broward Animal Hospital to the pimp list. I was actually in the market for a new vet and was
considering these people but no more. They declaw!"
"Thank you! I have 2 rescued cats that were declawed before I got them. Know why they were sent to the shelter?.. because they cant use the litter pan. Know why? Because they were butchered and had their nails taken out and their paws are so sensitive they cant use a litter box. Try scraping litter with your finger tips chopped off! Our solution was.. puppy training pads! they use it like a litter box."
"Hello, I recently consulted a vet about declawing my dear cat who has been scratching on my brand new furniture. The vet left me feeling confident that she would be ok and that a lot of people get their cat declawed. But I held off and wanted to do my own research While I was web browsing I came across your website. After reading the horror stories and crying my eyes out, I picked up my beautiful cat and just cried and apologized for even thinking I could put her through it. Thank you so much, for your website. It made me realize I could've made a terrible mistake. My cat is my WORLD, she is family and I just can't even think of a terrible outcome of the surgery. Your website really makes a difference and I hope everyone else does their research before declawing their pet. I am now the owner of Soft Paws and so far so good."
"Thank you for everything you are doing to help cats. I have never declawed a cat, and I never will. I work at a humane society, and I spend a lot of time educating people on declawing, and showing them alternatives. In fact, our shelter has a no declaw policy, and we will not adopt a cat out to a family who will declaw him or her. Declawing is disgusting, and when people write in hate mail saying things like "Shut up, get a life, declawing rocks!" It only proves that they are heartless. If people really love furniture more than cats, then they should either not have cats, or adopt a previously declawed cat from a shelter. There are so many cats who have been declawed and abandoned at a shelter who need homes."
"I'm from the UK. Most people in this country do not understand why so many Americans feel the need to de-claw cats. It's like cutting their fingers off! We regard it as barbaric, and vets here will not perform the proceedure. I have heard it said that it's done to prevent furniture scratching. Why have a cat if your furniture is so important? Cats are sentient beings. They feel pain and distress. Furniture doesn't. Why isn't there some major campaign in the US against this cruel and unnecessary practise. It should be outlawed across all states. Hateful practise!"
"I just happened across your Web Site and was appalled to see Cat Declawing. I had up to this point never heard of it being done (DHOS note: the writer is from Australia). I certainly hope it is not done in Australia and never does. It was heart wrenching to see the photos of Declawing Mistakes. Great Web Site, has my full support."
"Yes, Dr. Fahmy (see The Bad Guys) does declaw, I worked for him as a vet tech for a couple of months, when he told me he did declaws I quit!!"
"Me and Mikey just wanted to say "thank you" for educating us on declawing. "Me" being a new cat owner thought declawing was something like a neuter that was "just done." Mikey is my 9 year old daughter's cat. When we looked up about declawing I was horrified. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for educating the public."
"Your site is great. The hate-mails speak volumes...it's only the perpetrator's who hate the truth "exposed." You made my day. Thank you for your work and efforts."
"Hi! I want to tell you about a veterinary clinic that I went to when I got my cat three years ago. One of the vets there tried to get me to have my cat declawed! I asked him, "Isn't that just like cutting off the tops of our fingers?" His reply was, "No, it doesn't even hurt them." !!!! Thank God I didn't get it done to my cat! ... Anyway, the veterinary clinic is PEND OREILLE (pronounced ponderay) VETERINARY SERVICE (Located in Ponderay, Idaho). Please add them to the List of Shame!!!! I found a different vet. Thank you very much."
"Thank you for you site! My 5 month old kitten is going to be fixed this week and was going to be declawed as well. I have struggled with this decision, but some of my friends thought it was a good idea. After doing some more research and reading the posts here on this web page she will NOT be declawed!!"
"I think it's just awful how some organizations promote the barbaric operation of amputating a poor cats toes. I have never seen the need to declaw any of my cats and it's too bad that this practice just isn't outlawed. If you can't deal with a cats claws, then just don't have a cat."
"I am very grateful to see your web-site, although the images of the "very bad declaw" really got to me. If only those photos could be posted at the Receptionist's Desk in every Vet's office..."
"I have no idea how your website was forwarded to me, but as an active cat rescuer and opponent of the declaw procedure, I have more than one account of declawing changing a cats behavior, and unfortunately due to this cruel procedure still being legal and accepted, these cats will face a lifetime of difficulty and lack of an adoptable home. Keep up the good work. This procedure cannot be accepted and tolerated for much longer."
"Anyone who doesn't believe in the psychological damage inflicted by declawing as well as the physical barbarism involved has either never known a declawed cat, or is willfully delusional."