Story published on Jan. 3, 2021.
Rarebreed Veterinary Partners has around 40 veterinary practices with 800 employees.
Rarebreed says that their mission is to deliver exceptional care to pets, yet some of their practices perform declawing which is far from exceptional care for cats, is below the standard of care in veterinary medicine, and is animal cruelty.
Dan Espinal, their CEO, says that Rarebreed’s values are front and center to everything they do in a video on their facebook page. Rarebreed video
(We reached out to Rarebreed Veterinary Partners in an email on Dec. 9th, 2021 and asked if they have a position on declawing and a few other questions about this issue. We got a reply on Dec. 13 from one of their employees that said, “I passed your message to HR. I am not sure we can comment right now but I will reach out if we have anything to share! Thanks!”
We also gave them the list of all the veterinary companies that have banned declawing: VCA, Banfield, American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), Fear Free Pets, and Mission Veterinary Partners. )
Rarebreed leaders say they want to make the lives of veterinarians and their support staff better. Here’s the video on their facebook page. Rarebreed facebook video
Banning declawing would be a positive step for cats, veterinarians, veterinary professionals, and cat owners.
Not only does declawing harm the long term health and well being of cats but our research shows that it also is very bad for the mental health and well being of many veterinarians, veterinary professionals, AND cat owners.
Here’s more about our story about how declawing is a contributing factor in moral stress in the veterinary profession. Declawing and moral stress
Please take 60 seconds and sign our petition to the Rarebreed folks. Rarebreed petition
We did a small survey of 10 Rarebreed veterinary practices and asked for the cost of a declaw/spay, what doctors do the declaws, and if declawing is ok for a cat long term.
(We also reached out to these declawing practices in an email and asked them a few questions about why they are declawing cats, if they have seen the recent studies that show how bad it is for a cat, and showed them all the veterinary companies that have banned declawing, we never heard back from them.)
1) City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats, Providence, RI.
They stopped declawing a few years ago. Their manager said this,”If you’d like some info on helping cats use scratching posts, we’re happy to help! There are many ways to keep cats in the household without resorting to declawing.”
2) Sunray Animal Clinic- Brunswick, ME
The employee said that they declaw on a case by case basis.
They said your cat needs to have an exam to discuss the declaw and the doctor will determine if they will do the it. They said that not all their doctors are willing to do a declaw.
They said that a lot of clinics are avoiding declawing cats because it is amputating the cat’s toes at the first knuckle and it is extremely painful for the cats.
The employee said that they have one doctor on occasion who has been known to do a declaw depending on the reason and usually it is for medical reason for the cat. They said they only declaw if it’s necessary and they don’t do them arbitrarily.
They talked about the humane alternatives that you can use instead of declawing.
3) Norway Veterinary Hospital, Norway, CT. AAHA Accredited Animal hospital.
The employee said that they believe that their doctor who used to declaw doesn’t do them anymore. They said a lot of doctors have decided against declawing because it’s not necessary. They said that AAHA sent out newsletters about declawing that said it is painful and cruel so a lot of the doctors decided not to do declaws anymore.
4) Brookfield Animal Hospital, Brookferld, CT. AAHA and website says, “Fear Free Care.”
Employee said that a spay/declaw is around $900. They said that Dr Michael Dattner and Dr Silke Bogart do their declaws. When asked if the cats are ok long term from a declaw, the employee said that it’s a painful procedure so they will have to stay at their hospital for couple of days but once they are healed they are ok long term.
5) Brewer Veterinary Clinic, Brewer, ME.
Employee said that a spay/declaw is around $800-$1000. Researcher asked what method they use for a declaw and the employee said that they remove the toe part. When asked if the cat’s ok long term, the employee said that it all depends on the cat.
6) Kennebunk Veterinary Hospital, Kennebunk, ME
The employee said that a spay/declaw is $1000 and Dr. Kenneth Odrzywolski does their declaws. The employee said that their vet uses a scalpel for declaws but they recommend a laser for declaws.
They said that the laser makes the cats heal a little bit faster. They said that a declaw is actually cutting their fingers off at the first knuckle. Researcher asked if the cats are ok long term from their declaws and the employee said that they all heal differently.
They said that they’ve had declawed cats that go home fine, declawed cats that have had healing problems, and it’s not an easy surgery since you are amputating the first knuckle on every toe. They said some cats do fine with it and some don’t. The older the cat, the more complications they have. The employee said they don’t personally recommend it.
They have a lot of restrictions and don’t do declaws over a certain age.
7) Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook. Saybrook, CT.
The employee said that Dr Buck Drummond does their declaws but they try not to do them. They said they will do the declaw if the owner really wants it done.
When asked if the cats are ok long term from the declaw they said yes, they should be.
8) Mendon Animal Clinic, Mendon, MA
They don’t declaw. The employee said that it’s very inhumane to cats, it’s like taking your first knuckle off, it is painful, and causes behavioral issues.
9) Aspetuck Animal Hospital, New Preston, CT
They said their doctors aren’t comfortable doing declaws and they do not declaw cats.
10) Post Road Veterinary Clinic, Wells, ME.
The employee said that they don’t do declaws. The employee explained how and it’s like amputating part of a finger and is pretty painful and that’s why they don’t do declaws. They said cats can have phantom pain.
They said it’s best for the cat to go to a clinic with a laser, even though it’s kind of a brutal procedure, because it’s done in a way that it won’t hurt them. With a laser it’s a lot less painful and is a lot easier for the cat.
They referred researcher to a clinic in Portsmouth that has a laser for the declaw and even gave the phone number.
When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term, they said that they have noticed that declawed cats often become biters, even if they were declawed by a laser.
Researcher asked the employee if a declaw is bad for a cat, why do they recommend another clinic. The employee said for some people it’s either declaw their cat or they will surrender the cat to a shelter.