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. Please sign our petition ANNA Shelter Petition
Here’s how we privately tried to inspire the ANNA Shelter’s director to do the right thing. Story
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.
Thanks to a tip from a supporter in Erie, we found only ONE no-declaw veterinary practice. Choice Vets Pet Care in Fairview, PA (Only about 12 miles from Erie.) https://choicevets.com/
The ANNA Shelters WELLNESS Centers, West and Corry.
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.
Summit Pet Hospital and Care
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.”
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.
Millcreek Animal Hospital
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.
The Animal Clinic
The employee said Dr Senita does a lot of declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said yes.
Glenwood Pet Hospital
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.
Erie Animal Hospital
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.
Animal Kingdom Pet Hospital, AAHA and Fear Free Professional
The 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.
Animal Ark Pet Hospital AAHA and Fear Free Professional
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.”
Wintergreen Animal Hospital
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.”
Twinbook Veterinary Hospital
Two paw declaw- $421-$529
Four paw declaw- $526-$704
The 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.
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.
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.
KNOW THE FACTS- Declawing FACTS VS MYTHS
Always take the high road, be polite, and educate.