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 Erie Declawing 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/
1) 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.
2) Summit Pet Hospital and Care
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) Millcreek Animal Hospital, AAHA Animal hospital
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.
4) The Animal Clinic
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
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.
6) 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.
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
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
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
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) Twinbrook Veterinary Hospital
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.
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.