June 13, 2021

Please sign our petition to Dr James Nave to ask him to stop performing declawing and profiting from this barbaric cat cruelty in his Las Vegas declawing practices. Dr James Nave Petition

The bill to ban declawing, AB209, was introduced in Nevada in March 2021 by Assemblywoman Susie Martinez (D-Las Vegas). Here’s a story by CarsonNow.org about the bill. Nevada Anti-declawing Bill

The only organization that was opposed to the bill was the Nevada Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA).

The NVMA’s loyal lobbyist, Alisa Nave Worth, submitted the NVMA’s letter of opposition to this bill. Here are all the letters of support. Letters of Support for AB209

We reached out to the NVMA’s lobbyist for this story and here’s one of the questions we asked her, “Are you saying that no one in the Assembly or in the Senate Natural Resources Committee received this letter of opposition from the NVMA that you put together?”

Her answer was, “It was posted on Nellis. As you are aware.”  

Fyi, Nelis is the Nevada Electronic Legislative Information System where legislators and the public can go to get information about all the bills in the Nevada legislature.

Alisa Nave Worth explained to us, “My statement on the record was consistent and emblematic of the NVMA’s current stance regarding cat declaw which, I’m sure you know, states that only after intense consultation with a veterinarian should the decision be made in unique situations wherein it is in the best interest of the pet and pet owner alike to declaw the cat. An example might be when an ailing owner can no longer keep a pet because of potential skin damage from accidental clawing- these would be cases such as when an owner is sick with cancer and other ailments.”

We will post the email responses that Mrs Nave Worth sent us at the end of this story.

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This cat protection bill SAILED through the Assembly with a winning bipartisan vote and headed to the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
It needed to come out of this committee with a vote so it could head to the Senate for a full vote.
 
There are 5 Senators in this committee.
It is our understanding that 2 were going to vote yes on it and 3 were going to vote no, so they decided to not have an official vote on it.
Democrat Fabian Donate- Yes
Democrat Melanie Scheible- Yes
Democrat Senator Chris Brooks– No
Republican Pete Goicoechea – No
Republican Ira Hansen – No
(Republican legislators often vote no on bills that are introduced by Democrat legislators.)
 
What’s really puzzling is why wouldn’t Democrat Chris Brooks join his two colleagues in support of this bill? 
If he would have, the bill would have had a full vote in the Senate and most likely would have passed like it did in the Assembly.)
We tried to ask Senator Chris Brooks why he wouldn’t support this bill but he hasn’t replied back and also blocked us on Twitter.  Please send him a polite note and ask him why he opposed this bill. Chris.Brooks@sen.state.nv.us
 
The NVMA’s lobbyist, Alisa Nave Worth and Senator Chris Brooks are really good friends.
 
The NVMA’s lobbyist, her husband, and her dad, Dr James Nave, who is a veterinarian in Nevada and owns 22 vet practices, have donated to Senator Chris Brooks.
(We found that 15 of those NAVE Veterinary Group practices declaw cats.)

8 of the NAVE Veterinary Group practices gave their prices for 2 paw and 4 paw declaws. (4 of the NAVE practices are ER/Specialty Hospitals and they don’t perform declaws.)

The NVMA’s lobbyist, Alisa Nave Worth, also told us this, ” I can assure you that my families businesses did not impact my moral judgment on this issue.”

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The President of the NVMA is Dr Leonard Cooper.

He is a Banfield district field manager and also a Fear Free Certified Professional.

We asked Banfield if they are ok with one of their managers working with an organization that is trying to keep declawing legal and they wrote us back and said, “First and foremost, Banfield’s position on declaws remains unchanged. The health and wellbeing of pets is our top priority and for this reason Banfield does not support the elective declawing of any animal. We make no exceptions to this policy across our more than 1,000 hospitals nationwide. You can find our full declaw position statement here.

The Nevada Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) and Banfield are separate entities, therefore we are not in a position to comment on their behalf. Please reach out to the NVMA directly should you have any further questions.”

We sent Dr Leonard Cooper and the NVMA emails asking them for their side of this issue and never heard back from them.

The Exec. Director of the NVMA is Michelle Wagner. She has been their Director for decades.

We wanted to know who made the decision at the NVMA to oppose this important cat protection bill but never received a reply.

We looked into their board of directors and declawing and found this.

NVMA Directors

Haverley Coy, DVM–  Works at a VCA and VCA banned declawing in all their practices in Feb. 2020.

Travis McDermott, DVM – Works as the medical director at a NAVE Veterinary Group practice, Durango Animal Hospital. Employee said that all their doctors perform declaws regularly. A declaw is from $300-$400. They said they only do the front or the back and won’t do an all four paw declaw.

Brittany Sharpe, DVM– Works at a Banfield and Banfield banned declawing in all their practices in Jan. 2020.

Kimber Lopez, DVM– Works at Mount Rose Animal Hospital. Employee said that the county is moving to ban declawing and they only have 2 or 3 doctors that do them. They said that they are trying to move away from doing declaws. A spay/declaw is around $700.

AVMA Delegate- Jon Pennell, DVM. Works at Sahara Pines Animal Hospital.

Employee said that a spay/declaw is $402 and said that Dr Ziegler, who is FEAR FREE Certified, does the declaws and said, “she’s good with cats.” 

This animal hospital does not do 4 paw declaws and referred the researcher to a Banfield’s The Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital for a 4 paw declaw. Here’s this story. A Banfield Hospital That Was Still Declawing Cats

Sahara Pines has this declawing info in their Pet Library. Declawing info

Here are some of the info in that link on their website.  “Numerous scientific studies have been unable to document any behavior changes post-declaw. In fact, in one survey 70 percent of owners of declawed cats reported an improved relationship with their cat after the procedure.”

“Declawed cats do not seem to realize they have no claws. They will continue to scratch ineffectively as if they did not know the difference.”

AVMA Alternate Delegate, Gary Ailes, DVM – He is retired from Sierra Veterinary Hospital which is an AAHA Accredited Hospital. Employee said that all their doctors do declaws but they don’t like to do them. They require a consult exam first and say they do declaws as a last resort.

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We wanted to see how common declawing is in Nevada veterinary practices so in Feb. and March of 2021, our researchers called many Nevada veterinary practices and asked for a price of a spay/neuter and declaw, which vet was skilled at the procedure, and if declawing is ok for a cat long term.

We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer a backlash for their honest answers.


NAVE Veterinary Group practices owned by Dr James Nave, who is the father of the NVMA’s lobbyist, Alisa Nave Worth.

1) Tropicana Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.  AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital

Researcher asked for the price of a declaw and the employee asked, “The two paws or all four?” An all four paw declaw is $360. They said that all their vets do the declaws but recommended Dr Lee and Dr Lay for the declaw. The employee said they would trust Dr Lee to do a declaw for their cat. The employee said that the declaws are a routine surgery and when asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said they heal up just fine.

2) Craig Road Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.  Many of their doctors are Fear Free Certified Professionals. 

Researcher asked for the cost of a declaw and the employee asked, “Would you like all four paws or just the front?” According to the employee, all their doctors do the declaws. 

3) Blue Diamond Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

Researcher asked for the price of a declaw and employee said, “Depends on which feet, a front is $300 and all four is $400.”   they said that any of their doctors can do the declaw. When asked if it’s ok for a cat long term, employee said, there’s no guarantee that your pet will heal properly and no guarantee that they won’t be limping.

4) Valley Ranch Animal Hospital, Henderson.

Researcher asked for the price of a declaw and employee said, “If you’re doing all 4, it’s $160.”

They said it’s cheaper to do the spay with the declaw, all their doctors are good at declaws, and they haven’t heard of any problems after a declaw.

5) West Charleston Animal Hospital, Las Vegas

Researcher asked for the price of a spay/declaw and the employee asked, “Just the front two or all four?”

A 4 paw declaw is $340. They said that all their doctors do the declaws.

6) Cadence Animal Hospital, Henderson.

Researcher asked for the price of a declaw and employee asked if it’s the front ones or all four.  A 4 paw declaw is $670.45 and when asked if it’s ok for a cat long term the employee said yes.

7) South Valley Animal Hospital, Las Vegas

Researcher asked for the price of a declaw and employee asked, “Would you want just the front or all four?”

They said that a 4 paw declaw is $207 and a 2 paw declaw is $147. Researcher asked which vets do the declaws and the employee said all their doctors are good. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term and the employee said they have never hear of anyone having a problem.

8) Inspirada Animal Hospital, Henderson. This is also an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.

Researcher asked for the price of a declaw and employee said, “If it’s 2 paws, it’s $475 and 4 paws it’s $550.”

When asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat the employee said, they recommend not doing it because it can cause arthritis so that should be taken in consideration. But they will do the 2 and 4 paw declaws.

9) Green Valley Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

You have to get an exam first and the doctor will give a declaw estimate.

10) Centennial Hills Animal hospital, Las Vegas.

Employee said that a declaw is from $800-$900 and all 8 vets do declaws. The employee was asked if declawing was ok for a cat long term and they said yes.

11) Durango Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

Screenshot of a facebook comment from a cat owner who had her cat declawed at Durango AH.

Durango Animal Hospital “liked” her comment.

Employee said that all their doctors perform declaws regularly. A declaw is from $300-$400. They said they only do the front or the back and won’t do an all four paw declaw.

12) Grand Montecito Animal Hospital, Las Vegas

They said that all 7 of their vets do declaws regularly. The employee was asked if declawing was ok for a cat long term and they said yes.

13) West Russell Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

A declaw is $250 and the employee said that the don’t do a lot of them anymore. Researcher asked if declawing is ok for the cat long term and the employee said that they don’t encourage declawing but everyone is entitled to do what they need to do.

14) Lone Mountain Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

You have to get an exam first to see the reasons behind the declaw and the doctor must approve of it.

15) South Buffalo Springs Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

Must get an exam for a consult with a doctor and then they can give an estimate for the declaw.

16) Town Center Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

They said they don’t declaw cats. Researcher asked why and they said that their doctors don’t believe in declawing because it’s like cutting off the first joint on a cat’s paw.

17) Aliante Animal Hospital, Las Vegas

They said they don’t declaw cats because their doctors don’t want to do them. Referred researcher to another animal hospital for the declaw.

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We started to look into more vet practices in Nevada and here’s what we found. The ones below are not affiliated with Dr James Nave’s NAVE Veterinary Group.

A Cat Hospital, Henderson. 

This is a GOLD Cat Friendly Practice.  AAFP banned declawing and all CAT FRIENDLY Hospitals must stop declawing by July 1st, 2021.

A spay/declaw is $493.50. The employee said that Dr Heather Zamzow does the declaws and they do them a couple times a week. They said they use a laser that cauterizes and is a faster recovery. When asked if declawing is ok for a cat the employee said that every cat is different and they will have soreness in their paws.

We published a story about this animal hospital in 2018. Here’s the story. A Cat Hospital

The Ark Animal Clinic, Las Vegas.  AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital

The employee said that Dr Scott does the declaws regularly and they can do a 4 paw declaw. Researcher asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat and the employee said yes.

Boca Park Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.   AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital

Our researcher asked for the price of a declaw and the employee asked, “Are we declawing the front, back, or all four?”

A spay/4 paw declaw is from $800- $1000.  They have 6 vets who do the declaws.

Sun City Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.  AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital

Our researcher asked for the price of a declaw and the employee asked,”Are we doing just the front or all four?” The employee said that Dr Noworyta does the declaws and is “pretty good at them.”

Researcher asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat and the employee said it depends on the situation and your standpoint on it. 

Sahara Pines Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

Employee said that a spay/declaw is $402 and said that Dr Ziegler, who is FEAR FREE Certified, does the declaws and said, “she’s good with cats.” 

This animal hospital does not do 4 paw declaws and referred the researcher to a Banfield’s The Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital for a 4 paw declaw. Here’s this story. A Banfield Hospital That Was Still Declawing Cats

Sahara Pines has this info in their Pet Library

Research has been conducted to sort out truth from political propaganda. The AVMA has an excellent source where this research has been collated and the concerns are addressed. Here are some conclusions but feel free to examine the AVMA’s information on your own.

 Myth #1:  After declawing, a cat is likely to become fearful or experience behavior changes, impairing an affectionate relationship with his owner.

Numerous scientific studies have been unable to document any behavior changes post-declaw. In fact, in one survey 70 percent of owners of declawed cats reported an improved relationship with their cat after the procedure. 

Myth #5:  Declawed cats are more likely to bite since they can no longer claw.

Declawed cats do not seem to realize they have no claws. They will continue to scratch ineffectively as if they did not know the difference. As for biting, there have been some studies that show an increased tendency to bite in declawed cats while other studies have not shown that. The trouble in interpreting this information is that one of the reasons cats are declawed is to control aggression. A cat that is aggressive (even in play) will bite and scratch more than a cat that is not aggressive. Without the ability to claw, the cat will still have its increased biting tendency compared to a cat that did not. Whether the aggressive cat bites more now that it has no claws is still hard to determine. ”

Link to this info on https://saharapinesah.com/pet-library.pml?id=4951448  Sahara Pines Animal Hospital Declawing info

Caring Hands Animal Hospital, Las Vegas

Declaw is $700-$1000 depending if it’s 2 or 4 paw.

 

Sahara Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

You need an exam to discuss a declaw with a doctor and they will only do them if there is a threat to the owner or children.

Lone Mountain Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

They don’t declaw cats and said that it can cause severe nerve damage.

All About Cats, Cat Veterinary Hospital, Las Vegas.

They don’t declaw cats. They said that it is harmful to cats, hard to recover from, and they offer humane alternatives.

East Charleston Animal Hospital, Las Vegas.

They don’t declaw and said they don’t believe in it. They recommended Tropicana Animal Hospital for the declaw.

Pet Health Animal Hospital and Lifetime Care Center

They don’t declaw cats.

Rainbow Animal Hospital, Las Vegas

They don’t declaw cats.


Here are the email responses we received from the NVMA’s lobbyist, Alisa Nave Worth.

June 11, 2021.

I represent the Nevada Veterinary Medical Association on all issues that affect Nevada veterinarians and the Nevada animals they serve. I have done so for several sessions.  This session, I was instrumental in a number of conversations including veterinary telemedicine, the composition of the Board of Agriculture and veterinary dental licensure. I was not hired in anyway specific to the declaw bill.  At every step of the legislative process I maintained the highest level of ethical standards governed by Nevada Revised Statute and the State Bar of Nevada. Neither I, nor any other member of the legislative team, spoke with Senator Brooks regarding the legislation you reference. Further, neither I  nor my team lobbied the legislation in the Assembly, outside of direct contact with the sponsor and our. Therefore, the fate of the bill has nothing to do with the efforts of the Greenberg Traurig team.
 
My statement on the record was consistent and emblematic of the NVMA’s current stance regarding car declaw which, I’m sure you know, states that only after intense consultation with a veterinarian should the decision be made in unique situations wherein it is in the best interest of the pet and pet owner alike to declaw the cat. An example might be when an ailing owner can no longer keep a pet because of potential skin damage from accidental clawing- these would be cases such as when an owner is sick with cancer and other ailments. 
 
The NVMA did not coordinate with the AVMA on this matter. Further I cannot speak on behalf of the AVMA, as they are not my client. 
 
Finally, I can assure you that my families businesses did not impact my moral judgment on this issue. 
 
Again, this bill and the fate of it had nothing to do with my intervention. As you can see on the record, we were not in anyway present or lobbying in the State Senate, and frankly did not lobby members of the assembly. 
 
I am cc’ing Michelle Wagner, from the NVMA, to allow her to comment.
 
 
Best, 
 
Alisa “
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June 9, 2021. Alisa Nave Worth’s responses are in bold lettering below.
 
You also said this, “As you can see on the record, we were not in anyway present or lobbying in the State Senate, and frankly did not lobby members of the assembly.”
 
Just to confirm, are you saying that you wrote up a letter of opposition for the NVMA and only gave it to and spoke about it with the sponsor of the bill, Susan 

As appropriate under the protocol in Nevada, we posted the letter as part of the record. This is a transparency requirement in Nevada. 

Are you saying that no one in the Assembly or in the Senate Natural Resources Committee received this letter of opposition from the NVMA that you put together?

It was posted on Nellis. As you are aware. 


Are you also saying that you (or anyone else on your team) never spoke with any NV legislators except Susan Martinez about the reasons the NVMA opposes this bill and why they should oppose it?

That is correct. 

Since you are great friends with Chris Brooks, can you ask him the reason he opposed this important cat protection bill? It’s odd that he won’t say why he was against a bill that would protect innocent cats from this animal cruelty. Usually legislators give the reasons why they oppose a bill when asked for transparency.

I did not  speak with Senator Brooks or any other member that opposed the bill, but I can confirm I did not lobby a single member of the Senate on the legislation. I also do not speak for Senator Brooks. 

 
Thank you, 
 
Alisa Nave