Fewer than 4% of West Michigan vets don’t declaw and they are apparently afraid of being bullied for making the ethical decision.

Link to AAHA Hospital, Log Cabin Animal Hospital’s common procedures page. Log Cabin AAHA Animal Hospital’s website

 

Please sign our petition to these West Michigan declawing vets. Our petition

Fewer than 4% of Western Michigan vets don’t declaw.  We reached out to them to ask if they would write up a short paragraph as to why they don’t declaw cats but none of them replied.

Could it be that they are afraid of being bullied for making the ethical decision.

Out of 101 veterinary practices in West Michigan, only 4 of them don’t declaw cats.

We surveyed a total of 101 veterinary practices in West Michigan in our Part 1 and Part 2 surveys.

Here’s our Part 1 survey of 36 veterinary practices in West Michigan from 2018. (Two are just spay and neuter and don’t perform any other surgeries.)West Michigan Declawing Survey Part 1  

We included Dr Pol’s veterinary practice even though he is located in the middle of Michigan.

Dr Pol could be part of the solution to end declawing if he and his other vets stopped declawing and spoke out against this inhumane amputation procedure.

The method of the survey is at the end of the story.

 

West Michigan Vet Practices August 2019

1) Haven Animal Hospital, Grand Haven.

They don’t declaw. They said it is not humane and can lead to issues down the road. They said that they stopped declawing in August 2019.

 

2)  Laketown Cat Hospital, Saugatuck.

They don’t declaw cats.

 

3)  Plainfield Pet Hospital, Grand Rapids,  Fear Free Certified

They don’t declaw. The employee said that it is the amputation of the toes and it doesn’t fit in their practice. They said it can cause behavior problems and there are appropriate things like scratching posts and nail trims.

 

4)  Red Barn Cat Clinic, Richland, MI.

They don’t declaw cats. They said that you can have a free exam and they can go over other humane alternatives to declawing and information about it.

—————————————————————————————

Declawing veterinary practices.

5)  Lake Michigan Animal Hospital, Allendale

Dr Erin Ricco answered the phone. The researcher asked for the price of a neuter/declaw. Dr Ricco asked if they wanted the front or all four paws.

Researcher said all four and Dr Ricco said a neuter/4 paw declaw is $275.

When asked which vet is the most skilled at the declaw and if they do them regularly, Dr Ricco said, “we do them all the time.”

The researcher ask what method they use to declaw and Dr Ricco said they “cut them off.” She said that she uses the clippers and the other doctors use a scalpel.

She was asked if the cat will be ok long-term from the declaw and she said that the younger the cat is the faster it will bounce back. She said they rarely see any problems but some cats won’t use the litter box and some of them may limp for some time.

Researcher asked if it’s ok for the cat and she said that as long as you keep the cat inside. She also brought up that cats tend to scratch the furniture but never mentioned any of the humane options.

 

6) Pol Veterinary Services, Weidman

Employee said that they aren’t taking new customers for around 6 months. They said that they have 5 vets and they all do the declaws including Dr Pol. A spay/declaw is $210.

Another employee said all the vets do declaws. They said that most of the time the other vets do the declaws. Researcher asked why and they said because they are faster than Dr Pol.   They use a laser to declaw.

Photos from National Geographic website in 2014.

 

 

7) Eastown Veterinary Clinic, Grand Rapids.  

AAHA and Cat Friendly Practice. Fear Free Professionals.

Employee asked, “Would you want the front two paws or all four?”

A 4 paw declaw/neuter is $350. They said that all their doctors do declaws and they use a laser and it is easier for their recovery and less chance for infection. When asked if their vets are skilled at the declaw the employee said that they are AAHA accredited and they follow the highest standards. The employee also said that they are Fear Free and it’s great for veterinary care. They said that they do everything to make the experience better for the cats and less stressful. They even have a separate entrance for the cats.

 

8)  Sparta Animal Clinic, Sparta

Employee asked, “just the two front or all four?”

A 4 paw declaw/neuter is $275. They said that Dr Jantz does declaws 3 days a week. Researcher asked if declawing is bad for a cat since they read some things on the internet and employee advised them to not read things on the internet.

 

9)  West Shore Veterinary Clinic, Spring Lake

They said a 4 paw declaw/neuter is $375. When asked which vet is the best for the declaw, the employee said that Dr Heidi Heckler is and she is amazing. They said she uses a scalpel for the declaws.

 

10)  Northside Veterinary Hospital, Muskegon

A neuter/declaw is from $250-450. The employee said that all their vets do declaws regularly and they use a scalpel. They said that you need to use Purina’s Yesterdays News Litter after the declaw.

The researcher asked if a declaw is harmful to a cat and that they read some things on the internet that it is. The employee who said that they are a vet assistant , said that there are a lot of myths out there about declawing like it might feel like a pebble in a shoe.

 

11) Log Cabin Animal Hospital, Battle Creek. AAHA

They said you need a consult first to see if the cat is healthy enough for the procedures and to come up with a treatment plan. A spay/declaw is $351.

Researcher asked if their vet is skilled at the declaw procedure. They said that they are an AAHA hospital and they have high protocols for their practice. They use a scalpel and make it a safe procedure and give good pain management. They said they do a lot of monitoring. They said they are the only AAHA hospital in this area and many recommend them because they are AAHA. They said that they like to do the declaws when the cats are younger.

(AAHA is strongly opposed to declawing yet allows their accredited hospitals to do this mutilating and inhumane amputation procedure. Log Cabin AAHA animal hospital website with declawing

 

12)  Animal Clinic of Holland PLLC

Their employee said a neuter/declaw is $250 and they use a scalpel. They said that they load the cat up on pain meds and they bounce back quickly. They said that all the doctors do them fairly regularly. Researcher asked if declawing is bad for a cat since they read some things about it on the internet and the employee said that you will always hear bad things about it on the internet but that after a week the cats are back to normal.

 

 

13)  MapleView Animal Hospital, Holland.

Employee asked, “Just the front or all four?” They said that all their doctors are good at declaws, they do them regularly, and they use a scalpel. A neuter/4 paw declaw is $330. Researcher asked if a declaw is ok for a cat and the employee said that if the cat is scratching up the house and if that’s what it is going to take to keep the cat in a home then they recommend it.

 

14)  Cottonwood Veterinary Center PC, Jenison

Employee asked, “Just a front paw declaw?” They said that most people just do the front. A neuter/ 4 paw declaw is $230 and a neuter/2 paw declaw is $148.

They said that all 3 of their vets do declaws routinely and multiple a week.

 

15)  Hamilton Veterinary Clinic PC, Hamilton

A spay/declaw is $220. The employee said that all their doctors do them the same way, with a scalpel and they do them every week.

They said that the cats heal up in 10-14 days and if they are young they bounce back well. When the researcher asked if the declawed cat will be ok long term, the employee said, “absolutely.”

 

16)  Weathy Street Animal Hospital, Grand Rapids

The employee asked, “just the front declaw?” They said that a 4 paw declaw/neuter is $450 and all their vets do declaws regularly. They said they use a laser and it’s 10-14 days for their recovery.

 

17)  Great Lakes Hospital for Animals, Belmont

A neuter/declaw is $27–$420, and all their doctors do declaws regularly. They said that the cats will be ok after a couple of weeks. The researcher said that they read some stories online about how declawing is bad for a cat. The employee said that they got both of their cats declawed and they are ok.

 

18)  Harborfront Hospital for Animals, Spring Lake.

Employee asked, “Were you thinking of all four or front two?” A neuter/ 4 paw declaw is $374.

They said that their surgeon, Dr Jackson, uses a laser and does them regularly. They said that their laser cuts down on the swelling and bleeding.

 

19)  Animal Clinic of Muskegon

A declaw is $185 and a neuter is $108. They said that they don’t do the declaw together and can do both procedures as long as they are two weeks apart. They said that they have two vets who do declaws with a scalpel and they do them everyday.

 

 

20)  Horton Road Veterinary Clinic, Muskegon.

Employee asked, “Are you thinking of the full declaw?) A neuter/ 4 paw declaw is $375-$550. The said that Dr Peterson and Dr Johnson do their declaws and they do them all the time. When asked if a cat will be ok long term the employee said yes. They said that it doesn’t take a super long time to recover and that sometimes they might limp but that it’s not serious.

 

21)  Grace Animal Hospital, Mustkegon.

They said that a neuter/declaw is $265. Their vet, Dr Marlena Hill uses a scalpel, she’s been doing them for 22 years and does them all the time, and the younger they are the faster they heal. When the researcher said that they read some things online that said declawing is bad for a cat the employee said that it’s best to stay off the internet.

 

22)  Lakeshore Animal Hospital, Muskegon.

They said that a neuter/declaw is $350. They said that all their vets do declaws. When the researcher said that they read some things online that said declawing is bad for a cat the employee said that you should never believe everything you read on the internet.

 

23)  Fruitport Animal Hospital, Muskegon.

They wouldn’t give a price and said you have to make an appointment. The employee said that they usually won’t do a declaw on a cat after 5 months. They said that they don’t do declaws as often because less people are asking for them. They do around one a month. The employee said that lots of states are outlawing declawing and it definitely causes long-term issues for the cat.

24)  Faith Animal Care, Muskegon.

They do declaws but said that Dr Faith will take it case by case to see if it’s necessary.

 

  Clarke Animal Hospital and Glen Park Animal Hospital are owned by the same people.

25)   Dunstan Animal Care Clinic, Muskegon.

They said that Dr Dunstan does the declaws, he uses a scalpel, and they don’t do a lot of them. A neuter/declaw is $240.

26)  Clarke Animal Hospital, Norton Shores.

The employee asked, “Are you just doing the front or all four?”   A 4 paw declaw/neuter is $333. The employee said that all their doctors use a scapel and they do them almost daily. They said that the cat will be ok in 10-14 days and the younger the better.

 

27)  Glen Park Animal Hospital, Muskegon.

Employee said that their vet, Dr. Karyn Houser, does their declaws. They said that a neuter/declaw is $381 but if you get their Kitten Comprehensive Program Package, it is a 40% savings. They said that everyone at this practice had their cats declawed by her and they have no problems.

 

28)  Newaygo Veterinary Services, Newaygo. They are working on being a FEAR FREE PRACTICE.

Employee asked, “Just the front paws?”   A 4 paw declaw/neuter is $279. They said They said that they have 3 vets who do the declaws with a scalpel and they do them regularly. The researcher asked if the cat will be ok long-term after a declaw and the employee said yes.

 

29)  Clyde Park Veterinary Clinic, Wyoming.

They said a neuter/declaw is $320. They said that Dr Thompson uses a laser and does them regularly. The researcher asked if the cat will be ok long-term and the employee said that no matter how it is done, there is nerve damage and long-term negative consequences to a cat. They said it is a surgery that is for human convenience and has no benefits to the cat.

 

30)  Standale Veterinary Hospital, Grand Rapids. ONLINE laser declaw info

Employee asked, “Did you want to do 2 paw or 4?” A neuter/4 paw declaw is $504. They said that they use a laser which is quicker healing, less pain and less inflammation. They said that Dr Heather Haskins does declaws regularly and they do them quite a bit there. They said the younger the better and the down time for a 4 paw declaw is longer because their paws are more sensitive.

 

31)  VCA Northeast Animal Hospital, Grand Rapids (In our 2019 VCA survey. http://citythekitty.org/why-are-vca-animal-hospitals-in-america-still-declawing-cats/ )

VCA employee asked , “Would it be two paw or all four?”

$550 for an all 4 paw declaw and spay. They said they are booked out about 2 months and Dr Hoover is the one who does those procedures.

2nd employee said they generally need a medical reason to declaw and if the owner has exhausted all options. They said the medical reason is like if a cat owner has anemia or diabetes.

 

 

32)  Coit Animal Clinic, Grand Rapids.

A declaw is $175.56. They said that both their vets do a fabulous job and they do them on a regular basis. They use a scalpel. The researcher asked if there are any long term problems with doing a declaw and the employee said no.

 

33)  Forest Hills Veterinary Clinic, Grand Rapids.

They said that they only do the front paws. A spay/declaw is $500. The employee said that their doctors don’t do them often. Researcher asked if there are long term consequences and the employee said a declaw is like cutting off the first knuckle and you can take a chance but that there can be effects later in life.

 

34)  VCA Northeast Cat and Dog Hospital , Grand Rapids.

They said that they generally need a medical reason to do the declaw and if the cat owner has exhausted all other options. When asked what the medical reason is, the employee said if the cat owner has anemia or diabetes or conditions like that.

 

35)  Kalamazoo Animal Hospital, Kalamazoo.

Employee asked, “do you want 2 paw or 4 paw?” A 4 paw declaw and spay is $550.

They said that all their doctors do declaws and they are pretty good at them. They said that they don’t do many. They said that the laser is better and the cat will be ok long-term.

 

36)  Pet Vet Family Care Center, Kalamazoo.

The employee asked, “Front declaw or all four?” A four paw declaw with a scalpel is $218. They said that Dr Mulero does declaws regularly.

 

37)  Oakwood Animal Hospital, Kalamazoo.

The employee asked, “Just for the front?” A 2 paw declaw/spay is $530 and a 4 paw declaw/spay is $560. They said all their doctors are good at declaws and they do them regularly. Researcher asked if a declaw is ok for a cat and the employee said that she had her cat declawed and it has no issues.

 

38)  Kalamazoo Cat Hospital.

Employee asked, “Are we just doing a front declaw?” They said that both their doctors do declaws very well and regularly.

They use the clipper method for the declaws. The employee said that they had their cat declawed by them and her cat is ok.

 

39)  Animal clinic, Kalamazoo

Employee asked, “Just the front two?”

They said that a 4 paw declaw/spay is $332 or $362 with pain meds. They said they have on vet who uses a scalpel and does declaws regularly.

 

40)  Milwood Animal Clinic, Portage.

Employee asked, “Are you looking to declaw two feet or all four feet?” They said their vet, Dr Smitley uses a scalpel for the declaws. A 4 paw declaw/spay is $560.

 

41)  VCA Oshtemo Animal Hospital, Kalamazoo (Part of our 2019 VCA survey. http://citythekitty.org/why-are-vca-animal-hospitals-in-america-still-declawing-cats/ )

You have to have an exam first and the doctor will provide information about the process and will allow the owner after that to make the decision if they want to move forward with the procedure.

The employee said this hospital is possibly going to stop performing the procedure but as of right now they are still doing them and have performed them for years.They don’t perform 4 paw as it is not recommended. A two paw declaw is $411.97.

 

42)  Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic, Battle Creek

Employee asked, “Front declaw, rear, or all four?” Researcher asked what they recommend and what do most people do. Employee said that if you are wrorried about your furniture getting scratched then most do the front paws. They said that they do declaws on a daily basis and all their doctors do them. A scalpel spay/declaw is $196. It’s $238 for the laser declaw/spay.

 

43)  Kaspari Veterinary Clinic, Battle Creek.

 

A spay/declaw is $199 plus $12 for the pain meds. They said that their vet uses a scalpel and they do them pretty regularly. They said that the younger the cat, the faster they recover.

 

44)  DRVCon Columbia, Battle Creek.

Employee asked, “Do you want the front declaw or all 4?

A 4 paw declaw and spay is $230. They said it’s a routine surgery at their practice. They said that a 4 paw declaw/spay with laser is $282. They said that the laser might make them heal faster and they bounce back well. Researcher asked if there are any long term problems from declawing and the employee said no and that it doesn’t affect their walking.

 

45) Lakeview Veterinary Clinic, Battle Creek.

Dr Kent Beebe does the declaws.

The wife if this veterinarian has been harassing us in emails and on facebook. Here are excerpts from two emails that Dr Kent Beebe sent us in December 2018.

“I guess you want a patient on blood thinners to bleed profusely if scratched or if bitten get a septic bacterial infection. You want people to bleed or get rid of their cats. Most choose to follow their PHYSICIANS recommendations. I am so sorry you have a problem with that.

Over the years procedures have been modified to where you should not be able to see the claw. Are you up to date on your CE’s? I doubt it.

Kent Beebe, DVM ( I have no plans to retire anytime soon)

 

“As for patients on severe blood thinners +/or immune compromise, I have had more than one client discussing options, that state their physician will only support kitten presence in the household if it is at least front declawed.

  Declawing is a last, near salvage option, when euthanasia or relinquishment is the alternative. The shelters are so overcrowded that dumping there is a path to disease exposure or euthanasia for many. Dumping on the streets to become part of the ferel population is no better.

  I find elective surgeries of tail docking, ear cropping, dewclaw removal, and even spay/neuter to only be justified when the benefit exceeds the costs(financial and humane). Removal of every tiny cyst, lipoma, or wart on an aged dog is no better, but it is often done in the persuit of perfection. 

  Don’t even get me started on financials. We are surely not in it for the money. A loyal clientel of over 11,000 clients, including most of the area’s leading humane advocates, will tell you that your personal accusations are way off target. 

Kent D Beebe DVM”

 

 

 

46)  Pennfield Animal Hospital, Battle Creek.

They said a declaw is $98 and both their doctors do them fairly often. They said a lot of people don’t want to declaw anymore. Researcher asked about what they read on the internet about declawing being bad and if that’s true and the employee said no. They said that the younger the cat the better for the declaw.

 

47)  Beadle Lake Veterinary Clinic, Battle Creek.

Employee asked, “Are we just doing the front?” They said that their Athens Veterinary office does the declaws. A 4 paw declaw/spay is $300. They said Dr Hilary does them regularly and uses clippers. They use a laser for healing. When asked if the cat would be ok long term and the employee said, “Oh yea.”

 

48)  Rogue Valley Veterinary Hospital, Rockford. AAHA

The employee said that a neuter/declaw is from $238.61- $390.06 and their doctors use a scalpel and most of them do declaw quite often. They said that the doctors prefer not to do them and they will try to talk you out of it but at the end of the day it is up to you.

 

49)  St Joseph Veterinary Hospital, St Joseph.

They said Dr Richards has been in business for 40 years and uses the clipper method and does declaws regularly. A spay/declaw is $330. Researcher asked if the cat will be ok long term and the employee said yes.

 

50)  St Joseph Animal Wellness Clinic, St Joseph.

A spay/declaw is $326. They said Dr Ed uses a scalpel and does around 2 declaws a month.

 

51)  Sunset Coast Veterinary Clinic, St Joseph

They said that a spay/declaw is $336 and Dr Helgoth uses a laser which is so much better and the cats act like nothing happened. They said that it is like there are removing part of their knuckle and they like to try other things first and try to do them as a last option. They said that there can be issues like aggression and it can change their personality.

 

52)  Nickerson Animal Health Center, Benton Harbor

They said that a laser declaw/spay is $470 and they do them regularly. The employee was asked if laser is better and they said yes and said that they had their cat declawed at another practice and they left one of the beds in the cat’s paw.

 

53)  Will-O-Paw Animal Hospital, Coloma.

A spay/declaw is $280-$338. They said that their two vets use a scalpel and do them pretty regularly. Researcher asked if it’s ok for the cat long-term and the employee said yes and that they do pretty well.

 

54)  Bangor Veterinary Clinic , Bangor.

They said a spay/declaw is $290 and that Dr Baker uses a scalpel and they’ve done a lot of them there.

 

55)  South Haven Animal Hospital, South Haven.

A spay/declaw is $220. They said that both their vets do them regularly and they use a scalpel. They said that they don’t like to do the declaws to cats who are over 8 lbs. They said the younger the better.

 

56) Phoenix Road Animal Hosopital, South Haven.

Employee asked, “ Front declaw or all four?”   A spay/declaw is $245. They said that people mostly just do the front two so they aren’t scratching on things. They said their vets do them regularly but not every day.

 

57)  Paw Paw Veterinary Clinic, Paw Paw.

They said that they use a laser and all their doctors do them regularly.

 

58)  Seidl Veterinary Clinic, Hastings.

Employee asked, “Front or all four?”

A 4 paw declaw/spay is $295. 3 of their vets do declaws regularly. They say Dr Koons uses clippers and Dr Heather uses a scalpel. They said that a declaw takes around 4-6 months to completely heal.

 

59)  Broadway Veterinary Clinic, Hastings

Employee asked, Are we doing the front two or all four?” A4 paw declaw/spay is $238.

They said that two of their vets do them regularly and that they heal pretty quickly.

 

60)  Bull Creek Veterinary, Hastings.

Employee asked, “Front declaw or all four?” A 4 paw declaw/spay is $310. They said that Dr Hicswa uses a scalpel and does declaws regularly.

 

61)  Hickory Ridge Veterinary Service, Delton.

Employee asked, “How many feet would we be declawing?” A 4 paw declaw is $270.

 

62)  Lifetime Veterinary Care, Nunica.

They said that Dr Jackson uses a scalpel and does the declaws regularly. A spay/declaw is $340.

 

63)  Sand Lake Veterinary Services, Sand Lake.

Employee asked, “Just the front?”   They said that all their vets do the declaws regularly and they use a scalpel. Employee said that they do declaws everyday. A 4 paw declaw/spay is $302. Researcher said that they read some bad stories online about declawing and how it’s bad for a cat. Employee said to not look online.

 

Cat Clinic North and Kentwood Cat Clinic have the same owner.

64)  Cat Clinic North, Grand Rapids,  AAFP Cat Friendly Practice .

(Info from our 2018 American Association of Feline Practitioners CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE study- http://citythekitty.org/declawing-and-cat-friendly-practices/ )

They have laser declaw listed on their website in their Preventive Care Gold Kitten Plan. It’s $75 enrollment fee and $69.95 a month. They said that you will need to go to their Kentwood location (Kentwood Cat Clinic) for the laser declaw and said it helps with healing. The employee said they are the type of clinic that tries to sway people away from a declaw because it is amputation of the digits. They mentioned some of the humane alternatives like scratching posts and nail trims but said if you want the declaw, they can do it.

2019- A spay/declaw is $600

 

65)  Kentwood Cat Clinic. Kentwood.

When the researcher asked for the price of a declaw the employee asked, “Just the front?”

If the cat is over 8 months you need an exam with the doctor so they can determine if a declaw is ok to do. Declaw is around $600 and they use a laser.

Another employee was asked about the Gold Preventative Care Kitten Plan w/Front Declaw Spay/Neuter. The employee said that yes a declaw is included and its usually done at age 5-6 months. They said that they use a laser and it is, “very nice for them.” They said the laser cauterizes and there is less risk of nerve damage, less risk of infection since it sanitizes the skin, there is quicker healing, and quicker recovery. They said their doctors are skilled at the laser declaws and have done a lot of them and do them regularly. They said that it is, “a lot easier on them when done as a kitten and they bounce back from it, just like kids do. “

(Info from our 2018 American Association of Feline Practitioners CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE study- http://citythekitty.org/declawing-and-cat-friendly-practices/ )

 

66)  Red Arrow Animal Clinic, Paw Paw

Employee asked, “Are you looking to get two feet declawed or all four?”

A 4 paw declaw/spay is $565.

They said that the declaw is the removal of the first joint and Dr Helen Sill uses the nail scissors (clippers) method and Dr Christina Fossitt uses a scalpel.

 

67)  Allegan Veterinary Clinic, Allegan.

They say that a declaw is $140. Dr Coulsen uses a scalpel and does them regularly. Researcher asked if the cat will be ok long-term and the employee said yes but that their claws are bone and if it’s an older cat then it could cause problems.

 

68)  West Michigan Veterinary Service, Coopersville

Employee asked, “are you just doing the front?”

A neuter/declaw is $325.

They said that their 3 vets use the “old fashioned way,” with clippers and that they do declaws everyday. They said that the younger the cat the better. Employee said that she had 6 of her cats declawed and they are all ok. They said that for an older cat the recovery is longer and you can use clippers to trim their nails instead of declawing.

————————————————————————————————

The general questioning for this survey went like this:

The practice was called by a researcher posing as a cat owner who wanted a price for a spay/neuter/declaw. They had concerns about the declawing procedure and asked for a vet who was skilled at declawing. They asked if it was a regular and routine procedure that the vet does. Researcher also asked if there are any long term negative consequences for the cat from a declaw and also said that they read some things on the internet that indicated declawing was harmful to a cat.

There were a few variants on the questioning.


 PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAKE THE HIGH ROAD AND DON’T BE MEAN OR THREATENING. WE MUST EDUCATE THE PUBLIC AND  EDUCATE DECLAWING VETERINARIANS ABOUT THE FACTS ABOUT DECLAWING AND ABOUT THE EASY, HUMANE OPTIONS.
WHEN YOU ARE RUDE OR THREATENING, IT HURTS THE CAUSE, IT’S WRONG, AND IT OFTEN HURTS US BECAUSE THEY BLAME YOUR WORDS ON US. THANK YOU. CITY THE KITTY AND TEAM.