UPDATE Aug. 2021.
We received this note from Ruth Thompson, the director of the ANNA Shelter on Aug. 24, 2021. “Hi – hadn’t heard from you in a while so I wanted to update you. We no longer offer declaw at any of our clinics. The last vet who wanted to do them left us a few months ago to start her own practice and we decided unanimously to not continue this procedure. I am thrilled. Best of luck with your efforts. Ruth”
We surveyed 21 vet practices in the Erie, PA area and 14 declaw cats, (one isn’t declawing cats now because they don’t have enough staff), and 7 practices do not perform this inhumane amputation procedure in their clinics.
The ethical, humane no-declaw practices are Choice Vets Pet Care in Fairview, PA, Erie Animal Hospital, Millcreek Animal Hospital, North East Animal Hospital, Fairview Veterinary Hospital, Fairview, PA, Regional Veterinary Center, and the ANNA Shelter’s Wellness Center.
Please take your pets to these ethical and humane no-declaw veterinarians so you know that you can trust they have the welfare of your pets at the highest priority.
This story was first published in June, 2020
Please sign our petition to all the declawing veterinarians in the Erie area. Erie Declawing Petition
UPDATE 2021. The Erie Animal Hospital and Millcreek Animal Hospital in Erie stopped declawing cats since our 2020 story was published.
We reached out to all the declawing vet practices in the Erie area to ask them if they know about the recent peer reviewed studies, info, and data that shows how bad declawing is for cats, why they are declawing cats, and if they educate cat owners about the facts about declawing and about the easy, humane alternatives.
Our researchers reached out to these practices and asked them for the cost of a declaw and if declawing is ok for a cat long term.
1) The ANNA Shelters WELLNESS Centers, West and Corry.
UPDATE AUGUST 2021.
According to Ruth Thompson with the ANNA Shelter, they no longer declaw cats. She sent us this on Aug. 24, 2021. “Hi – hadn’t heard from you in a while so I wanted to update you. We no longer offer declaw at any of our clinics. The last vet who wanted to do them left us a few months ago to start her own practice and we decided unanimously to not continue this procedure. I am thrilled. Best of luck with your efforts. Ruth”
2020 Anna Shelter’s Wellness Center’s declawing info.
In 2018 Dr Lyon the vet at the ANNA Shelter’s WELLNESS Center Corry, told our researcher that he does around 100 declaws a year. (He retired on May 1, 2020. Dr. Sara Zeigler is the new vet at the ANNA Shelter WELLNESS Center-Corry. According to an employee, she performs the declaws.)
Ruth Thompson told us she has 3 vets that declaw cats. According to employees, the other two vets who perform their declaws are Dr Jessica Bahl and Dr Jean McInerney at the ANNA Shelter WELLNESS Center-West.
2) Summit Pet Hospital and Care
UPDATE AUGUST 2021. A two paw declaw is $290.
2020 Summit Pet Hospital declawing info.
2 paw declaw is $250
One employee was asked if declawing is ok for a cat and they said that every time they assisted on a declaw, the cats wake up perfectly fine and they aren’t painful.
They said that they usually keep the cat two nights and give them pain meds (Onsior) They said that they give you one day of pain meds to give to the cat.
They said they have one vet who does them regularly with a “cautery tool.” The employee was asked how that works and they said it, “burns the skin.”
One employee said that Dr Susan Stroup helped make the machine that she uses for the declaws and it sold everywhere in veterinary facilities. It helps with clotting and healing is faster and lest painful. They said that they did a declaw on a kitten the other day and she “went home and is as happy as can be.”
When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said yes, the cats are a little sore but are up and walking the next day. Another employee said it takes 2 weeks to a month to completely heal.
3) Perry Pet Clinic, Waterford, PA
This clinic was opened in November 2020 by Dr Jessica Bahl who worked at The ANNA Shelter’s WELLNESS Centers.
Dr Bahl was one of the declawing veterinarians for the ANNA Shelter’s Wellness Center.
Employee said a declaw is $175 and Dr Bahl uses a cauterizer and a scalpel for the declaws. Employee said that they personally don’t believe in declawing and mentioned the humane options.
We reached out to Jessica in August 2021 and asked her some questions about why she performs declawing and if she educates clients about how it’s bad for cats and about the easy, humane options. This was her response. “That is very disrespectful of you to address an email to my first name. You are being removed from our email listing. Good luck to you and the quest to enhance awareness of declawing of cats. We already discuss with clients the alternatives to declawing.”
4) The Animal Clinic
UPDATE AUGUST 2021. After researcher asked for the price of a declaw the employee asked, “Is it 2 paw or 4 paws?” They said that a 2 paw declaw is $217.15 and a 4 paw declaw is $291.38. When asked if people from NY state are allowed to get their cats declawed in PA, they said they have people from NY who bring their cats to get declawed all the time.
2020 The Animal Clinic declawing info.
2 paw declaw $205
4 paw declaw $277.90
When asked if declawed cats are ok long term, they said, “Oh yea.” They said that Dr Gary Senita uses a scalpel, does them regularly, sometimes a few declaws a week, sometimes 3 declaws in a day. They said he’s been in practice for over 40 years.
The employee said that the doctor declawed their cats and they have never had a problem with either of them. They said if you get them declawed at a young age, they heal quickly, and it’s the older and overweight ones who might have tenderness.
The employee was asked why it says online that declawing is bad for cats. They said that everybody says it’s bad and people think we should ban things like ear copping and declawing but what people don’t understand is that if “us vets” stop doing them, under anesthetic and pain management, people would start doing them at home in their backyards. They said they’ve seen ear cropping done like that.
They said most people or a good portion of them, don’t want cats with claws.
They said that if they can’t declaw then there will be a lot of homeless cats, lots of cats in shelters and they’d be overrun, and many cats who have to be euthanized.
Another employee said Dr Gary Senita does a lot of declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said yes.
5) Glenwood Pet Hospital
UPDATE August 2021 . They still have this declawing info on their website and a declaw is still $210.
2020 Glenwood Pet Hospital info.
2 paw declaw $210
Their 4 paw declaw is $450. They said that they won’t do all four at once so you have wait a couple months to do the back paws.
They said that they use the clippers method and all their vets do declaws except for one. They said that their vets do declaws but don’t recommend it. When asked if declawing is bad for a cat and if the cats will limp, they said, “some of them can limp for life” and they can experience long term nerve pain and other issues.
Another employee said they have 5 vets who do them regularly, and when asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said, yes and it’s up to the cat owner but some doctors won’t do them.
6) Erie Animal Hospital
UPDATE August 2021. They do not declaw cats anymore.
2020 Erie Animal hospital info
They said they only declaw for a human health reason. You need a note from your doctor saying you have a health problem like a clotting issue to get your cat declawed.
They educate their clients about the humane options and said they are working towards becoming a declaw free practice.
7) Animal Kingdom Pet Hospital, AAHA and Fear Free Professional
UPDATE August 2021. A declaw is $582. They said they do not declaw cats for NY residents because of COVID restrictions.
2020 Animal Kingdom declawing info.
2 paw is $406 and a 4 paw is $543.93 plus $60 for the laser.
They recommend using their laser option for declaws and because they say it is less bleeding, swelling, and not as painful.
When asked if declawing is bad for a cat they said that it is amputation and they recommend using other options like trimming their nails, nail caps, and training. They said some people have kids and need to declaw.
Another employee said they have 10 vets and only 1 or 2 WON’T do the declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said some doctors don’t believe in them and they haven’t had any feedback that they aren’t ok.
8) Animal Ark Pet Hospital AAHA and Fear Free Professional
UPDATE August 2021. A declaw is around $760 which includes the exam. They said they do not declaw cats for NY residents because of COVID restrictions.
2020 Animal Ark declawing info.
2 paw declaw $407 and 4 paw declaw is $545.
They say a laser is better for cutting since it cauterizes and there’s less pain, bleeding, and swelling.
One employee was asked if declawing is bad for cats and they said no, their hospital’s cat is declawed and has no problems, and they said there’s a lot of propaganda out there against declawing.
Another employee said they have several vets that do them “all the time.”
When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said, “of course” and if they are “done properly, they are fine.”
9) Wintergreen Animal Hospital which is a VETCOR animal hospital.
UPDATE August 2021. They said as of now they aren’t declawing cats because they don’t have enough staff. They refer you to Glenwood Pet Hospital in Erie and Russell Veterinary Hospital in Russell, PA
2020 Wintergreen Animal Hospital declawing info.
2 paw declaw $425
The employee said Dr Jones does them and she is very good at them and does declaws regularly with a laser.
When the researcher asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat the employee said as long as the cat isn’t outside and said it’s all personal preference. The employee also said that a declaw is, “not necessarily bad for the cats.”
Wintergreen Animal Hospital Laser Declawing info linkDeclawing info
10) Millcreek Animal Hospital, AAHA Animal hospital
UPDATE AUGUST 2021. They do NOT declaw cats anymore.
2020 Millcreek animal hospital declawing info.
One employee said they have two vets who do them.
When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said the cats sometimes get arthritis. You need a doctor’s note do get an all four paw declaw, for example if you are on blood thinners.
11) Twinbrook Veterinary Hospital which is a VETCOR Animal hospital.
UPDATE August 2021
After researcher asked for the price of a declaw the employee asked, “For two or four paws?” When asked if people from NY state are allowed to get their cats declawed in PA, they said that they have done them in the past for NY residents but they aren’t currently taking any new clients. A two paw declaw is from $472-$638 and a four paw declaw is from $562- $728.
2020 Twinbrook Veterinary Hospital declawing info.
Two paw Laser declaw- $421-$529
Four paw Laser declaw- $526-$704
One employee said that Dr Smith does several declaws a month.
Researcher said that there is a lot of information that says declawing is bad for a cat and asked is that true.
The employee said if that was the case and it was inhumane, cruel, or unsafe, veterinarians and they specifically mentioned “the ANNA Shelter Wellness Clinic”, wouldn’t be allowed to do them. They said that if a declaw is done properly then they shouldn’t have any complications. They said it is personal preference.
Another employee said Dr Thomas Smith, does them regularly. He uses a laser and it is less invasive, cauterizes, less stressful, and heals faster. They said you can go to their website to read about the laser. Twinbrook Veterinary Laser information
When asked about their laser info that says it is a “no touch” surgical procedure and “Lasers cut without touching any tissue” the employee said that the instrument doesn’t touch and it’s less invasive and there are no stitches.
When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said that there are debates about that online and there are pros and cons.
12) Russell Veterinary Hospital, Russell, PA. This is a VETCOR Animal Hospital.
The employee said that a declaw is around $400-$500. They said that they have people who come from NY to get their cats declawed with them. They talk about using scratching posts, nail trims, etc and that declawing is a last resort for a cat who is misbehaving. They said that their vets use a scalpel and a clipper and they do declaws fairly often and prefer the cats to be around 3-5 months old. They said that the AVMA frowns on doing declaws but they leave it up to the veterinarians. They said that you can bring your cat in for the exam to see if the cat is healthy enough for the procedure and they can do the declaw the same day.
13) Fairview Veterinary Hospital, Fairview, PA
August 2021 . They don’t declaw cats.
14) McKean Veterinary Hospital, McKean, PA
Employee asked, “for all 4 or just the front?” when the researcher asked for the cost of a declaw. A two paw declaw is $225 and a 4 paw declaw is $305. They have 3 doctors who do the declaws and they use radiosurgery. Employee said they don’t do declaws much.
15) Hometown Veterinary Hospital, North East, PA
The employee said they will only do a declaw on a cat who is under 10 lbs or under a year old. They said that it will be banned in PA soon and they won’t do declaws for new clients.
16) North East Veterinary Hospital, North East, PA
August 2021. They do not declaw cats.
17) Corry Veterinary Clinic, Corry, PA
A declaw is $209, they said they do them regularly. When asked if declawing is ok for a cat long term the employee said that some cats do have issues down the road like arthritis and phantom pain.
18) Camboro Veterinary Hospital, Edinboro, PA
Employee asked, “Is this the front or all four?” when the researcher asked for the cost of a declaw. A 2 paw declaw is $298.30 and a four paws is $596.60. When asked if they do declaws regularly the employee said yes and when asked if declawing is ok for a cat long term they said yes.
19) Animal Hospital of Waterford, Waterford, PA
A declaw is $325- $350. The employee said that all their doctors do them but they try not to do them. When asked if declawing is ok for a cat long term, the employee said yes.
20) Wilde Veterinary Center, Waterford, PA
A declaw is $350, their vet Dr Mark Wilde does the declaws. Employee was asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term and they said yes but that it’s a long recovery period.
21) Regional Veterinary Center, Erie, PA
August 2021. They do not declaw cats.
This was our original story that was published in June 2020.
We’ve tried for a couple years to respectfully inspire the founder/director of the ANNA Shelter, Ruth Thompson, to put the welfare of cats first and stop providing declawing in her WELLNESS Centers.
As far as we know, there are only 2 animal shelters in America that declaw cats in their Wellness Clinics. (Houston Humane Society is the other one.) More about the ANNA Shelter and declawing The ANNA Shelter and declawing
We applaud Ruth for all the amazing work she does and for dedicating her life to help the welfare of animals.
We even offered to pay for the printing of educational declawing brochures for her shelter and WELLNESS Centers.
A couple weeks ago we politely reached out to Ruth again and she replied back to us.
She described all the good things she does for animals, how the pandemic has cancelled some of her fundraisers, described some of the horrible animal cruelty cases she is dealing with, how she spends countless hours trying to convince an animal that has every reason to distrust humans that they are all not all bad, mentioned compassion fatigue, and said she doesn’t think we are on the same page.
Then she wrote us this, “So I don’t honestly have the energy, time or finances to commit myself to a cause such as yours but since YOU do here a few things I would like you to consider: 14 veterinarians in the Erie are ALONE do declawing DAILY – I’m sure country wide that number is much higher. Posting the names of private individuals or their clinics who are making six figures a year FOR PROFIT seems more of the way to go to champion your cause rather then trying to get large multi-million dollar companies to boycott helping NON PROFITS fulfil their mission. And check into those veterinarians and how they are affiliated with other shelters/rescues – ie Board Members, running their clinics, etc who do declaw. “
(She gave us 3 ideas on how to end declawing and that was one of them. We will list the other 2 at the end of this story.)
We were curious about her statement so we did some research.
We found that indeed declawing is a procedure that is being performed on a regular basis in most of the vet practices in the Erie area. We don’t know if they are making six figures, but most likely declawing is bringing in lots of easy and good money to their pocketbooks.
Through this research we found that the ANNA Shelter’s WELLNESS Centers are providing the cheapest declaw in town.
We found that all these declawing vets need to educate their employees about the FACTS about how this inhumane and barbaric amputation procedure always harms the long term health and well being.
Here are the other two ideas Ruth gave us.
*I know of 12 shelters/rescues/foster based networks that don’t/won’t take a stand on declaw right within my tri-state area. So when you say just my shelter and one other allow post adoption declaws – I know your information isn’t correct. Maybe do some better research before rallying your troops.
*Lastly, use your time to lobby EVERY state to BAN DECLAW. I would think if I had the time you do – that’s what I would be doing. Going straight to the top – making a fuss where it matters. Putting pressure on those who CAN MAKE A CHANGE so that the rest of us don’t have to make that difficult decision.
Have your followers email, call and lobby their legislatures – not those of us trying to save the animals. Trying to flood my inbox (only yours and 2 others – so I guess that’s not really “flooding” ) isn’t nearly as effective as going to where someone could actually make this problem go away.
How we tried to inspire the director of the ANNA Shelter to stop declawing. Story
KNOW THE FACTS- Declawing FACTS VS MYTHS
Always take the high road, be polite, and educate.