Houston Humane Society Declaws Cats. Guess Why.

HHSMittens2


Photo and caption posted on facebook by a cat owner who had their cat declawed at Houston Humane Society.


Most of you have heard the shocking news. Houston Humane Society declaws cats and kittens at their “Wellness Clinic” for cat owners in Houston and also for people who adopt HHS cats.


Houston Humane Society added this disclaimer this month, September 2016,  to their website next to their price for declaws.

hhs-disclaimer


Let me first say that Houston Humane Society does do a lot of really good things for animals at their organization.

But sadly they are not doing what most all other humane societies in America are doing, and that is educating cat owners about the negative aspects of declawing and counseling them about the ease of using the humane alternatives like scratchers, soft paws, and deterrents.

Here is more about this sad story Houston Humane declaws cats


Houston Humane Society’s mission statement is, “Dedicated to, and working towards, ending cruelty, abuse and the over population of animals while providing the highest quality of life to those in our care.”

Yet they somehow justify doing this inhumane, cruel, and mutilating procedure to cats.


I have done months of investigating this Houston Humane Society declawing issue and have reached out to some of the people in charge of HHS, their PR staff, and also members of the board of directors at HHS to try to get an answer about why they declaw cats. Not ONE person has gotten back with me for this story.

So I needed to try to find information that would explain why HHS has this very antiquated and inhumane mindset towards declawing. I asked my FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation) team to help out.

I wanted to know who sets the declawing policy at Houston Humane Society? Usually it is the board of directors at these kind of organizations.




 


I reached out to all the board members that I could find their contact info on, and even Sherry Ferguson, Exec. Director, but not ONE of them returned my emails.

I also reached out to the current secretary of the HHS board of directors, who is a veterinarian and owns a cats only veterinary practice, Dr Cynthia Rigoni.  She was even the President of HHS in 2004-2006 so she must be very influential at HHS. She never returned my email or took my phone calls.

I had my FBI team look into how she addresses declawing at her own All Cats Veterinary Clinic in Houston. Maybe that would help give some insight of why HHS declaws cats.


Here is the only thing that my FBI team found online in regards to declawing at Dr Cynthia Rigoni’s practice.

Dr Rigoni has been doing declaws for a very long time, over 25 years.

In 1991, a cat owner came to her practice for just a neuter. Dr Rigoni performed the neuter and then started to declaw the cat. On the third toe bone, she realized she was performing an unauthorized procedure but she kept declawing the cat and then notified the owners of the “error.”

Here is the link to this case from the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Texas Veterinary Board vs Dr Cynthia Rigoni

Evidence Presented-Rigoni1Evindence


Testimony-Rigoni 2 testimony

The Suspension and Fine-Rigoni 4 verdict

Here are the full transcripts about this declaw and also another serious disciplinary order against Dr Rigoni- Disciplinary Orders against Dr Cynthia Rigoni


So I tried a few more times by phone calls and one more email to reach Dr Rigoni for a comment about who sets the declaw policy at Houston Humane Society, how declawing Nikko affected her, and other questions about declawing but I never got a reply.

 This is a very serious issue so I finally spoke to one of her employees who was happy to talk to me on the phone about this story but didn’t want her name used. I will call her Employee T.

Employee T was proud to tell me that she works at the front desk, has done technician work, has worked in the food industry , has been working in the pet industry and the animal industry, and has been showing cats for over 20 yrs.

When I asked employee T that I wanted to ask Dr Rigoni about how declawing Nikko in 1991 affected her, she said, “Do you know how long ago that was? Most of the people aren’t working here anymore. I have no comment about that and she has no comment. You are assuming you know the full story. You have one side of the story and every story always has two sides. I understand you want to create an inflammatory article against declawing which is your right. But it is also anyone’s right to declaw their cat.

Employee T then went on to say, “you should be doing a story instead, about a well known cat food company that is, knowingly killing cats with food that they sell and their own research tells them that, not just maybe deforming them.” She said, “They create a diet for thyroid and they know through their own personal testing that fish is linked to thryoidism and messing with the thyroid.

I asked her about their declawing policy at All Cat’s Veterinary Clinic and asked why they don’t counsel owners, why they suggest declaws with spays/neuters, why don’t they tell cat owners the truth that it is inhumane and mutilating to declaw a cat, or suggest humane alternatives to cat owners.

She said, “We are happy with our policy.” We like to give people a choice and that option. It’s not Russia where you can’t do certain things. We don’t sell declaws. If someone calls wanting to know about declaws we are happy to tell them about the declaw that our doctor does.”

I said, you say that there are no negative consequences, no problems doing it, you say that you declaw cats as old as 18 yrs old and any age is fine you never say that there is anything wrong with declawing your cat.

Employee T, “The method that our doctor does it in, if you are going to have to have it done, her method is the only way that I would ever recommend having it done, better than tendonectomy.”

You do know that declawing is inhumane no matter what way you do it?  It depends on what you idea of inhumane is. If your idea of humane is taking a cat that is tearing up your house or tearing up you and throwing them outside to whatever the elements are, yea. But if your idea of humane is to keep them inside where they can live happily and healthy and in harmony with the entire household then that’s the other side.”

As far as declawing being inhumane she said, “The benefits outweigh any possible problem and the pain. The benefits outweigh that.”

I said the majority of cats can have scratchers, soft paws, and use deterrents and can be trained to use scratchers and you guys could be educating the cat owners about this fact. Told her that they declaw cats as young as 3 months old who don’t even have scratching issues. You do know that cats can be trained and you should be counseling the cat owners about these things.

Employee T said, “We shouldn’t have to do anything. People have access to the internet and they’ve got plenty of articles like yours to read to make those kind of decisions and they can weigh both sides against the other. We don’t sell declaws, we do it.  We don’t advertise it, we have it available.”

When cat owners ask you if there are any negative consequences, you say no and you say it’s fine.

Employee T said, “From my personal experience, having a declaw done in the method that Dr Rigoni does it, there is not. Now the guillotine method, years ago I had a cat that was done the old fashioned way and I swore I would never do it again because it was such a mutilation. The doctor cut the paw pads and everything. Dr Rigoni’s declaw does not do anything near that.”

When I asked why Dr Rigoni declaws most of her cats.

Employee T said, “It depends on the cat. If they launch and use their back toenails too much or pokes her people, would you rather the cat stay in a cage its whole life? Or would you rather get rid of its toenails and run around so it couldn’t hurt anyone or itself. Don’t you know that if cats can’t be trusted out, they are going to be caged or thrown outside and killed? How humane is that? Is it humane to live in a little bitty cage your whole life or thrown outside and killed by just about anything? Is that humane?”

Do you know the rest of the world doesn’t declaw cats.

Employee T said, “And that’s fine, that’s their culture. Over in Africa they mutilate woman so that they do not have sex. “

Why does she declaws her dogs or other people’s dogs?

Employee T said, “She doesn’t have any declawed dogs. On a rare occasion, which to me it actually makes a lot more sense to declaw a dog than a cat. Do you know anyone who can trim their own dog’s toenails? No. Their toenails get so long and you hear, click click click click . That’s like having a fat animal. That’s inhumane. Their toenails are so long because you can’t trim them. Try to trim a dog with black toenails without making them bleed.”  She talked about having a toodle dog and how she loves to have her toenails done and how she stands there perfectly still and how she would never think of having her declawed. Then she goes on to say, “but if I had a big dog that I couldn’t trim its nails . I have seen peoples dogs with nails are so long that you know it’s going to messing with the way its walking. That’s inhumane. When you start trimming dogs toenails, then you can talk to me about what’s inhumane. When you have dogs with nails so long they can barely walk, it affects their gait, it affects their hip joints and their knee joints.”

I asked is there a reason Dr Rigoni breeds cats when she is on the board of directors at a shelter with a very high kill rate. Story from NoKillHouston.org Houston Humane Society Kill Rate Story by NoKillHouston.org

Employee T said, “your information isn’t true. They are including the number of animals that have to be put down for humane purposes which means they have been hit by a car or they have a broken back, those aren’t true numbers. If you look at the true adoptable cats and dogs that are put to sleep, the numbers are going to be a whole lot different. Those are animals who are put out of their misery before they die on their own.” She said that HHS is responsible for all of Harris County in the city of Houston and that’s a huge area with a large number of cats and dogs they are responsible for and that you have to take that into consideration and look at apples to apples.

When she started to bring up other questions like, “If there was a burning building and there was a cat in it and a baby, who would you save?” I knew that it was time to end my interview. She obviously was doing everything she could to deflect the real issue which was about declawing cats. Then she said that I’m writing a sensational and fictional story. This story has all facts in it.

She agreed that Dr Rigoni should know whats going on at HHS as far as the declawing policy. She said that she wasn’t sure but said, “The way I think they might be thinking is, if they can get a kitty adopted and out of a shelter situation if it can be declawed and get it a good home then maybe that is something they think, If an animal were to stay in a shelter and keep it’s claws.”

She then gave me a lecture about how cats instinctually use their claws to mark their territory and are putting their scent markers. She said, “it isn’t easy to transfer one (a cat) over to a scratching post. A lot of people don’t have that kind of patience or don’t want to take the effort or time to train their cats. There are homes out there who won’t have anything other than a declawed cat. Would you rather have a cat stay in a shelter or be in a cage or be outside and left to all the evil devices that are out there or be declawed and live in a cush cush mansion.”

 


I wanted more answers so I had my FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation) team call Cynthia A Rigoni’s veterinary clinic as a “first time cat owner.” . They wanted to see how Dr Rigoni addresses declawing at her practice.  The FBI team member said they were adopting a friend’s 6 month old and 2 yr old cats and the 6 month old needed a spay and that they never had a cat before so wanted advice.

In a nutshell, here are some of the things that they were told by employees at Dr Cynthia Rigoni’s Houston veterinary practice. “Well there’s a right way and a wrong way to do a declaw. The way that has the bad rap is called the guillotine method. That’s where they use giant toenail clippers and cut the bone and if you cut too far back you get bone degeneration so the toe gets shorter and if you clip too far forward you get pieces of that end bone that can grow nail inside the cat’s foot after that. Then she went in to describe how Dr Rigoni declaws and called it the “dissection method” and said , “that’s where, you know how you can remove a chicken leg from a thigh, there’s no bone involved, just tendons and that’s it. They are under anesthesia, they have pain meds on board, and they heal a lot faster.”  She said that the way Dr Rigoni does it, “the paws look totally natural.” She even said,  “You can come by and take a look because some of our cats are declawed that way. They look completely normal.”

“We do 4 or 5 a week, your cat should be fine in 15 days, and they are back to normal quickly.”

When asked about declawing causing limping the office manager says, ““As far as limping is concerned, it’s usually an improper surgery or sympathy. Oh I hurt, therefore I’m going to limp and make you feel bad.”

we have older people whose skin gets real thin and their doctors tell them to get rid of their cats because one little scratch from their claws will just make a big gash so we declaw their kitties so they can keep them. 18 yrs old is the oldest cat that she’s declawed and we’ve never had any problems.

“She (Dr Rigoni) wouldn’t do it (delcaws) if it caused long term health issues. Everyone has their own beliefs they consider that to be, she declaws almost all her cats. Do you want the front paws done or all four done?”

“We want them to be at least 3 lbs before we can declaw them. She knows what shes doing and she’s really really good at them and teaches other veterinarians. None of the vet schools are teaching it this way. The guillotine method is the old way and many haven’t learned the new way.”

FBI team member told employee that they had read online that the Humane Society of the US says that declawing is bad for a cat. Employee proudly said, ” Dr Rigoni is on the board of Directors of the Humane Society and she does it.” (declawing)

“She’s done several thousands of them over the years, I know that I’ve worked for her for 17 yrs and it’s usually gone very smoothly.

FBI team member asked the office manager, if cats need their claws for their health or was worried if their cat would limp from the declaws? “No, not at all. My cat was declawed and their health was never an issue. She (Dr Rigoni) does her own (cats), she’s done other peoples, she’s done an 18 yr old cat, it’s not that kind of thing. As far as limping is concerned, it’s usually an improper surgery or sympathy. Oh I hurt, therefore I’m going to limp and make you feel bad.”

Said that a friend said to make sure you get a vet that skilled at it. “Oh yes that would be useful, your friend is absolutely right. Let’s see here, I don’t normally do this, let’s go back 16 yrs to 2000, I’m literally going to poll my computer. Let’s go back to Jan 1st 2000, and we are going to pull just a front declaw. It may or may not come the quite the way I want to only because I had different numbers years ago. If this helps you at all, I have about 20 (declaws) per page and I’ve got 83 pages. (BIG LAUGH from office manager) So let’s see, 2 times 80 is 160, just the past couple years. Let’s see what she has done this year. “She has done at least 60 declaws so far this year. And that’s just the front declaw, not front and back, not declaws for us in house and other things, that’s just a front declaw.”

Asked office manager if Dr Rigoni declaws cats for HHS?   “No no, she wasn’t doing declaws but she will. What she was doing was spays and neuters because they can’t get a surgeon over there period. That’s the problem they have.”

Office manager said, “She also does canine by the way, which very few people do. She taught herself, it’s a totally different method. They (dogs) can ruin walls by scratching and thing, drives her nuts. She taught herself how to do it. It’s a different technique. They don’t teach that in vet school. It’s not something we normally show.”

DETAILS OF ALL THESE COMMENTS ARE BELOW IN THIS STORY.


 

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August 2106- Employee 1 T-  First time cat owner asked if there is anything else that they should do with the spay surgery. Employee said, “At 6 months of age, if you wanted to have the cat declawed, you could do that, at the same time. If it’s the front only it’s $305.” Or you could get them declawed on all four paws and she says, “it’s just $100 more for all four paws $405.”

The “first time cat owner” said that they had read things online that said declawing is inhumane and is that true. The nice employee said, “Well there’s a right way and a wrong way to do a declaw. The way that has the bad rap is called the guillotine method. That’s where they use giant toenail clippers and cut the bone and if you cut too far back you get bone degeneration so the toe gets shorter and if you clip too far forward you get pieces of that end bone that can grow nail inside the cat’s foot after that. Then she went in to describe how Dr Rigoni declaws and called it the “dissection method” and said , “that’s where, you know how you can remove a chicken leg from a thigh, there’s no bone involved, just tendons and that’s it. They are under anesthesia, they have pain meds on board, and they heal a lot faster.”  She said that the way Dr Rigoni does it, “the paws look totally natural.” She even said,  “You can come by and take a look because some of our cats are declawed that way. They look completely normal.”

They say, “When there’s bone involved or when you are crushing or cutting the bone, it’s much more painful and it lasts a lot longer. When there’s no bone involved, it heals a whole lot faster since you are talking about tendons and skin.

They say that Dr Rigoni is the only one that does their declaws. When the “first time cat owner” asks if there’s any chance of botching the declaw and is concerned, the employees says not to worry and “we do 4 or 5 a week, your cat should be fine in 15 days, and they are back to normal quickly.”

They asked if their cats will have any negative consequences and they say, “Not with the way our doctor does a declaw, she’s done a lot of them for 30 yrs. I don’t even recall the last time a cat came in with a problem. We see cats that come in from other vets that have problems that she has to go back and fix and remove the fragments of bone.” They reassure you that she just, “removes the little tip right there at the first joint.”

They were asked if the 2 yr old cat will be ok or if it’s ok for an older cat they say, “we have older people whose skin gets real thin and their doctors tell them to get rid of their cats because one little scratch from their claws will just make a big gash so we declaw their kitties so they can keep them. 18 yrs old is the oldest cat that she’s declawed and we’ve never had any problems.


August 2016 – Employee 2- J- Has known Dr Rigoni since 1979.

“First time cat owner” called and had a 6 yr old, 20 lb cat that they got from a friend.

Told the employee they were considering getting it declawed and if Dr Rigoni is skilled at it. “Yes mam, she’s very good, one of the best. She uses dissection method so that mean there’s no damage to the paw or paw pad.”

Asked the employee if it was inhumane since another vet said they wouldn’t do it to a cat that old or that heavy.

Employee said, “older people have older cats and they want to keep them and that the only way they can. It’s not inhumane the way she does it. We do a lot of them. We did 3 this morning and she’s been doing them for 30 years. It takes 7-10 days to heal, no stitches, she takes the nail off at the joint, she uses compression bandages, and we keep them overnight and then send them home with special litter. They said that they do a lot of older cats and when people get older their skin gets thin and the only way they can keep their cat, “the love of their life, is to have it declawed.”

Asked if the cat will be ok. “Oh yes, you won’t be able to tell if she’s declawed unless you pick her up and look between the toes. “

Cat owner said they read some bad things about declawing on the internet and employee said, “Oh yea, Dr Google lies sometimes and rearranges the truth.” We even have had a client bring her cats from California to Dr Rigoni to declaw them. She has done nothing but cats for over 30 yrs.”

Cat owner said they read some bad things about declawing on the internet and employee said, “Oh yea, Dr Google lies sometimes and rearranges the truth.”

Told employee that they had read online that the Humane Society of the US says that declawing is bad for a cat. Employee proudly said, ” Dr Rigoni is on the board of Directors of the Humane Society and she does it.” (declawing)


August 2016- Employee 3-T- First time cat owner wanted to talk to Dr Rigoni to see if it was humane and ok to declaw their cats.

Employee said,  “a phone consultation is $50.”

First time cat owner asked if they could just ask some questions before she does the declaw.

The employee said,  “Dr Rigoni does the surgery the dissection method. The guillotine method is the way that is inhumane and causes a lot of issues with bone fragments left behind that grows a nail or bone regeneration that cause the finger to get shorter.”

Employee said, “That Is that what Dr Rigoni would say.  She pays me to handle these kind of calls that come in and give the advice you need.”

First time cat owner asked if declawing bad for the cat’s health and well being.

No, she wouldn’t do it if it caused long term health issues , no she wouldn’t do it. Everyone has their own beliefs they consider that to be, she declaws almost all her cats. Do you want the front paws done or all four done?”

What do you recommend and what are the prices the first time cat owner asked? Employee said, “$305 and $405. Usually people do the back feet when they have a very destructive cat or they have a health issue and they can’t have the cat scratch them for any reason at all. So just the front then. Yes mam, that’s what most people do, it keeps the destruction and all that stuff down to a minimal.”

Employee asked, “Are they kittens or adults? We want them to be at least 3 lbs before we can declaw them. She knows what shes doing and she’s really really good at them and teaches other veterinarians. None of the vet schools are teaching it this way. The guillotine method is the old way and many haven’t learned the new way.”


August 2016- Employee 4- E- Office manager- Asked about getting a 6 yr old 20 lb cat declawed and was nervous about it and asked if their cat would be ok.

Office manager said, “As far as we know yes, she’s done several thousands of them over the years, I know that I’ve worked for her for 17 yrs and it’s usually gone very smoothly.

Asked if the cat would be limping after the declaw. “Shouldn’t be. We do have a recheck policy, 7 to 10 days after the surgery, we do want to see your kitty back. It’s a free recheck just to make sure everything is going alright.”

First time cat owners said that they got the cats from a friend and have never had cats before. “How old?”, the manager asked.  6 yrs old. “That’s fine.”

One weighs 20 lbs so wasn’t sure if that’s ok. “It’s not a matter of weight, it’s a matter of why is that weight, if it’s normal for his body or if he’s overweight. Which means that under anesthesia, anything can happen.”

Heard horror stories about declawing. Office manager said, “Of course, the horror stories are based on the guillotine method. They use a tool called a Rescoe trimmer, like a gripper or plyer, they would grab on to the paw , extend the claw, and then they would stick it under the guillotine, and then bring the guillotine down. Sometimes they would get part of a claw and sometimes they would get part of the pad.”

“Dr Rigoni doesn’t do this, she does the dissection method. She goes into the nail bed and removes the nail totally. It’s the more modern version, it’s done with a surgical blade, we do a cold laser therapy that helps to speed up the healing.”

Do cats need their claws for their health? “No, not at all. My cat was declawed and their health was never an issue. She’s (Rigoni) does her own, she’s done other peoples, she’s done an 18 yr old cat, it’s not that kind of thing.”

“As far as limping is concerned, it’s usually an improper surgery or sympathy. Oh I hurt, therefore I’m going to limp and make you feel bad.”

“What I did 15-20 days after surgery, I made this pipe cleaner circle and tied it on to a cord on to a long stick and dragged it around and I made my cat grab it, and she learned how grab it with her paws and use her paws and move the toes differently , and she would grab it and run with it and roll to take it down. So I made a game out of it so she didn’t think that she didn’t have the claws. She didn’t even think about the fact that she didn’t have nails.”

Asked if she is skilled and does around one a month. “Oh she’s done more than one a month hun. She has literally done thousands. “

Said that a friend said to make sure you get a vet that skilled at it. “Oh yes that would be useful, your friend is absolutely right. Let’s see here, I don’t normally do this, let’s go back 16 yrs to 2000, I’m literally going to poll my computer. Let’s go back to Jan 1st 2000, and we are going to pull just a front declaw.”

Office manager says, “If this helps you at all, I have about 20 (declaws) per page and I’ve got 83 pages. (BIG LAUGH from manager) So let’s see, 2 times 80 is 160, just the past couple years. Let’s see what she has done this year. She has done at least 60 declaws so far this year. And that’s just the front declaw, not front and back, not declaws for us in house and other things.”

This office manager was proud to say, “She also does canine by the way, which very few people do. She taught herself, it’s a totally different method. They (dogs) can ruin walls by scratching and thing, drives her nuts. She taught herself how to do it. It’s a different technique. They don’t teach that in vet school. It’s not something we normally show.”

Does she do declaws at HHS?   “No no, she wasn’t doing declaws but she will. What she was doing was spays and neuters because they can’t get a surgeon over there period.”

First time cat owner said that HSUS says declawing is inhumane.  Office manager, “That’s US vs Houston. She’s not doing declaws necessarily over there but they (HHS) will do them. She’s doing spays and neuters and what I was talking about is the fact that she is an extremely experienced surgeon. During the Fix Felix she does over 380 (neuters) in an 8 hr period, which is historic. She brings her own staff.” 

Asked if Dr Rigoni is very skilled at both cat and dog declawing.   Manager, “Uh huh. She’s done her own dogs. She doesn’t normally  offer this up to anybody else because we don’t do dogs and there’s a purposeful reason why we don’t dogs here in the office, we don’t have the room. If you do dogs, you have to do them all sizes all shapes all forms.”

Do you do the dog declaws, at home cat owner asks? Manager,  “We normally don’t, she does her own, but If someone needs one, she will offer to do it on occasion but we don’t do them on a regular basis because we don’t have the room for dogs. It’s a totally different form of surgery. You don’t perform a declaw on a dog the same way you do on a cat. Dogs nails just grow, cats nails grow and retract and come back out again. Nails retract so what you are dealing with is taking the nail out in behind a tendon.”

First time cat owner asked so declawing is ok for cats and dogs because they read things about it being inhumane?  Manager said,  “heck yea. She’s (Dr Rigoni) is a breeder, she’s been doing her own cats and dogs for years, not a problem. You will get horror stories on everything and all kinds of funny stuff going on the internet. If you weren’t familiar with the technique and hadn’t sat here for years watching it happen, you would be kind of nervous too. “

Office manager says she does drawings for clients who want declaws. “I draw the nail, I show them what the tendons look like and make a little schematic for them on a little post it not and I say take them home. I’ve actually watched her do several hundred, I don’t even bother anymore, I know what it looks like, she’ll be talking to you and yacking as she’s cutting away.”

If my dog is scratching my floors and I wanted that done too would she? “You would have to shop around. There are a few vets that know how to do that. If that occurred and you still wanted that done you would need to ask her about it and she could tell you. She has a cut off on when she wants to do that with a dog. You would have ask her and we would prepare in advance for that if she decided to do that for you, we would have to meet you, the dog, that type of thing, and she doesn’t do that lightly.”


From the investigation of this story, I realized that there are thousands of pro-declaw veterinarians in North America who are deceiving the public about what declawing is and telling their clients that it isn’t harmful or bad for the health and well being of a cat.

The nice folks with the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners helped me with this story and said that veterinarians must be held to the honesty and integrity rule. Anyone can file a complaint if they find out about a veterinarian in Texas who is lying about declawing or who is deceiving the public about declawing.

Here is the link to the complaint form Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners official Complaint Form.  

They were kind enough to also send me these helpful links for this story and this information that would pertain to how this practice was addressing declawing and the misrepresentation of the declawing procedure.


rigoni-advertising


rigoni-honesty


rigonitrust


 

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What you can do to help.

  1. Send a donation to Houston Humane Society with a note that says that your donation check can ONLY be cashed if they stop declawing. Houston Humane Society 14700 Almeda Rd, Houston, TX 77053  Attention Donations

    2. Write a letter to the editor to Houston newspapers about this issue.  News@houstonherald.com  and citydesk@chron.com (Houston Chronicle)

     3. Call your own or other local veterinary clinics that declaw cats, as a new customer or first time cat owner, and ask about prices for declawing and say that you want to to know all the facts about declawing . Ask them about their method of declawing and if your cat will be ok after having it done. Ask them questions like, is declawing your cat ok for the health and well being of your cat. Ask them if there are any long term negative consequences to declawing. Ask them what kind of pain management they use and if their vets are skilled at declaws and how many do they do a month. Check the laws about recording the phone conversation in your state. Eleven states require the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful. These “two-party consent” laws have been adopted in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. Save the recording and transcribe the notes and email them to me at citythekitty@gmail.com with the state and name of practice in the subject line. With your permission, this info will be used anonymously in a documentary and YouTube video for educational purposes.

4. Send the leaders of HHS, like Sherry Ferguson (Executive Director)  and Dr Cynthia Rigoni,  photos of all the declawed cats on Petfinder in Houston and in Texas to try to inspire them to become like all the other humane societies in America who don’t declaw cats and don’t allow the public to declaw the cats they adopt from the humane society.  Dr Rigoni’s email – wholeycats@att.net   Sherry Ferguson’s email – sferguson@houstonhumane.org  Here are the other “leaders” emails at Houston Humane Society Houston Humane Society staff and emails

5. Start a petition to ask Houston Humane Society to stop declawing cats and start educating the public in Houston about the facts about declawing and counseling them about the humane alternatives.


Houston Humane Society has this on their website. I would say that declawing goes against 4 of these freedoms.

HHS 5 freedoms



AS USUAL I MUST REMIND YOU OF THIS DISCLAIMER.

Please don’t threaten anyone involved with these stories. We must do the right thing and take the high road and be respectful.  It is wrong to threaten them in any way plus they will twist things around and play the victim. We know that the only victims are all the kitties that are being unnecessarily and cruelly declawed. We MUST continue to shine light on this cause and share all of these stories so that we show the truth about what is going on.

We MUST continue to educate cat owners who are being deceived by these pro-declaw veterinarians and veterinary professionals and who are NOT being told about how declawing is mutilating amputations, not good for the health and well being of their cats, how it is inhumane and very painful, and how there are ALWAYS humane alternatives that they can use instead of declawing.  Soft paws, scratching posts, nail trims, and deterrents are ALL better than declawing and they work!

The way that we make positive change is through peaceful and respectful actions and words. When you lash out and are threatening, it hurts our important cause and makes us all look bad, and in turn saves less kitties from this very cruel and inhumane procedure they call declawing.