I’d really like to get the “why” behind this half ass answer, wouldn’t you?
The President of the NYSVMS is the leader who is co-opting all of her NY vet cronies to STOP this bill to ban declawing in her state.
Why? It is GOOD for cats but it is bad for some vet’s pocketbooks. She herself makes about $550 per declaw ($100 extra for all four paws) and $1007.5.74 for all four paw declaw/spay.
Do you think declawing a 3-4 month old kitten is a “last option” scenario? Well this NYSVMS declaws kittens as young as 3-4 months according to some of her cat clients and according to what her employees tell cat owners in phone calls and emails. In fact her employees offer it to cat owners who ask for prices by saying, “do you want two paw or four paw, laser or traditional?” And Dr Wylegala says she offers laser declawing (burning the toe bones off the kitty)and that it is a “more humane” way of doing it.
If that’s true (which we all know it’s not) then why in the heck is she even offering the other inhumane, “traditional” way to her clients poor kitties?
Here is one recent (2015) example of how Dr Susan Wylegala addresses declawing at her practice.
Cat owner brings in two rescued kittens that are around 3-4 months old. Cat owner asks to get these kittens declawed because this owner has birds and doesn’t want the birds scratched through the cages. This cat owner said that, “Bottom line I did not ask for alternatives and if she (Dr Wylegala) started to discuss them I would have….nicely told her. I did not want to hear. I did not go in to the vet to bargain. I wanted front declaw. Thousands of cats are killed each year every community….that’s such bigger issue for me than a declaw.”
When asked if Dr Wylegala, or the other vet who declawed one of these kittens, counseled her about the humane alternatives or how declawing isn’t good for the health and well-being for this cat owners cat this cat owner said, ” I was the consumer…the owner…was not her call…to lecture or council…I would have let that be known.” She said, “whatever it takes to give the homeless kitties warm lap…“
I reached out to a couple veterinarians who don’t declaw cats and asked them about this scenario and what would they have told this cat owner. They said that they would have informed this cat owner on the negative risks involved with the health and well-being, they would have told this bird owner that there was a study done that showed declawed cats killed more birds than clawed cats and cats kill birds by biting them, they said they would have told this cat owner to use common sense and just keep the birds and the small cages away from the cats and get cages with smaller spaces in between the bars. The vets said that even if the cats are declawed and if they are near the bird cages that causes stress in the birds that isn’t good. So there are ALWAYS humane alternatives but we all know that most pro-declaw vets acquiesce to cat owners and declaw their cats and take their $$. Cheektowaga Veterinary Hospital charged $897 for this declaw/spay to save birds from being scratched.
It says in a recent interview by the Associated Press, “President Susan Wylegala said the number of declawings at her Buffalo-area practice is less than 50 percent of what it was just three years ago. ‘We’re seeing it in significantly lower numbers because vets are educating clients on the alternatives that are available,’ she said. ‘It needs to remain that last option.’”
Okie dokie. A last option. Too bad that’s often not the truth. Or is it 50% of the truth?
The AP story didn’t delve into any of the details as to why her practice is doing 50% less toe amputations.
I want to ask some important questions.
So when Dr Susan Wylegala says they are doing 50% less, does that mean she’s doing 8 declaws a week instead of 16?
Or does that mean she’s doing only two paw declaws now instead of the four paw declaws her practice offered cat owners just a couple months ago?
Or does that mean that she’s only 50% as good as she used to be at talking people into it?
Or does that mean she’s raised her prices by 200% so only 50% of her clientele can afford doing it? Or does it mean she’s paid off 50% of her laser so she’s not hocking it as desperately?
Or does it mean that she’s of the mindset that maybe she will not have have quite as bad karma if she slows down her declawing pace?
But the bottom line is why is she NOT just stopping like so many other veterinarians are doing?
I think these are important answers that we need to know when she says she is doing 50% fewer, don’t you?
You know this makes me think of a cyber bully. Can you imagine if he announced that he will bully 50% fewer people and that’s why we shouldn’t make it illegal, because it’s definitely on the decline, right? Why bother making cyber bullying illegal if he’s doing 50% fewer and in three years he might be bullying only 25% as many?
Remember the AVMA’s America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest and how there was only one vet in the top ten that didn’t declaw cats? Remember how I asked all of you to vote for this no declaw vet Dr Gary Richter, and then when we were going to win the contest they canceled it under the guise of a massive animal activist terrorist organization cyber bullying them? Here is the info if you don’t remember. Press Release about the AFV contest cancellation
Well, two of the veterinarians (who had no cyber bullying happening to them) were so inspired by what I was doing to help end declawing, they personally decided that they wanted to be a true advocate for all animals and they stopped declawing cats. They also are BOTH are the state directors for the PawProject.org and are also repairing the paws on declawed cats who are suffering from those mutilating amputation surgeries.
It’s been around 8 months since they both stopped declawing and both veterinarians said their business at their practice is up and the community response from this choice has been overwhelmingly positive.
They both were ones who rarely declawed cats at their practice and also actively counseled cat owners who asked to get their cats declawed.
Here are a couple notes from these amazing doctors!
Dear City the Kitty,
The fact that I stopped declawing has not affected me financially since my practice revenue is up 10% since. It has affected the team in a positive way and they all feel we are a true advocate for animals by refusing to offer this procedure. My phone receptionist says she hears a positive response about 60% of the time and people decide to give soft paws a chance. Others hang up and once in a while they complain we are not doing it. My associate Dr Moisa has stopped 4 people from declawing and I know of at least 5 kittens that almost got declawed before we educated their owners.
My technicians always ask how do people hear about us, we’ll several really good new clients have come to us specifically because I do not declaw!
Mitsie Vargas DVM, CVA, CVFT, CTP
Certified Veterinary Journalist
America’s Favorite Veterinarian
Author of the forthcoming book “Alt-Vet: The Revolutionary Pet Care and Longevity Solution”
“Peace begins with a smile ” ~Mother Theresa
Dr Marcy Hammerle was the other AFV contestant who stopped declawing sent me this note. “Thank you for making my practice, The Pet Doctor, part of your non-declaw list. I used to do laser declaws…..my reasoning was that I did counsel owners on alternatives, did them carefully, used appropriate pain medications, etc. After being part of The America’s Favorite Vet contest and all of the dialogue that came with it, I took the time to reevaluate my personal stance on declawing. I spoke to my staff, my clients and the rescue groups that I serve. They were very supportive of my decision to stop declawing cats. City, I reached out to your Mom, too! She talked to me a lot and supported me in making the final decision that this was the best decision for me and my practice. I have received an overwhelming amount of support from my community and am proud to be a no declaw veterinary hospital. We welcome clients that support a vet who wants to give the very best care for their cats.”
Dr Marcy Hammerle DVM
America’s Favorite Veterinarian
The Pet Doctor http://www.thepetdoctorinc.com/
They are veterinarians who are doing the right thing and who are true advocates for animals who think of their needs first and are not performing this inhumane and mutilating procedure.
Then there are veterinarians who keep making excuses, keep putting out lies, and keep amputating cat toes and claws in the most cruel, horrific, and unnecessary procedure in all of veterinary medicine.