Here’s a story about an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital, Cascade Hospital for Animals in Grand Rapids, MI that chose to stop being a Cat Friendly Practice so they could continue to declaw cats.
(Please send a polite email to AAHA and show them this story. Ask them why they won’t do something and put the welfare of cats first and ban declawing in their AAHA hospitals like AAFP did in their Cat Friendly Practices. firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know if you get a reply! email@example.com Also please sign our petition to AAHA. Help us get to 50,000 signatures! No need to donate to change. org to sign it.) AAHA Petition
The owners of Cascade Hospital for Animals are Dr Gregory J. Paplawsky, Dr. Steven J. McBride, and Richard L. Siegle.
AAFP gave all their Cat Friendly Practices all the resources and information they need to become a Cat Friendly Practice that could effectively educate cat owners about why declawing is inhumane and really bad for a cat’s health and well-being and educate these cat owners about the easy, humane alternatives so that they wouldn’t want to have this inhumane and mutilating amputation procedure done to their beloved cats.
Cascade Hospital for Animals still has this as the link to their June 2020 declawing info.
“We offer the option for surgical declawing due to the concern that without it, some cats won’t have homes at all, more euthanasias will occur due to behavioral surrender to shelters or that cats will be forced to live outside due to the destructive scratching behaviors they exhibit.”
(Those excuses are false and fear mongering. If cat owners are educated about how bad and inhumane declawing is for their beloved cats and are educated about the easy, humane alternatives like sturdy scratching posts, scratching pads, nail trims, deterrents, Soft Paws, etc. then they won’t want to have this animal cruelty done to their cats.)
Here’s their link in their “Care for Cats” section with laser declaw advertised. AAHA hospital laser declaw advertisement
According to an employee at Cascade Hospital for Animals in July 2021, a declaw is from $530-$665. They have around 5- 6 doctors that do their declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term, the employee said, “most cats are ok.”
We asked one of their employees in an email if they are still a Cat Friendly Practice since AAFP banned declawing in their Cat Friendly Practices on July 1st. This employee wrote, “We are not a certified Cat Friendly Practice, however we do the best we can to meet the needs of all of our feline patients.”
We asked them why they stopped being a Cat Friendly Practice. The employee said, “We are no longer cat friendly because we offer declaw services. “
We asked them, who made the decision to not be a Cat Friendly Practice anymore. They said, “It was NOT a decision that was made by the practice. Because we do not meet the qualifications the AAFP has in place, we cannot be labeled as Cat Friendly.”
We asked them this, “Your veterinarians had two choices.
1) To discontinue declawing because it is a procedure that is bad for cats or
2) Discontinue being a Cat Friendly Practice that puts the health and well-being of cats first.
Who at your practice chose to keep performing declawing instead of stopping? Did all 13 of your vets come to a consensus that it was more important to be able to keep declawing over being a practice that is Cat Friendly and good for the welfare of cats? “
They said, “It was decided by the owners of the facility that we would offer declaws situationally for clients who had that very specific need. We do require a consultation with a doctor to discuss the reasons and all possible alternative options. Unfortunately, the AAFP does not allow for these exceptions.”
Our Exec. Director sent an email to the owner vets, Dr. Seigle, Dr. McBride, and Dr. Paplawsky, on July 14, 2021 asking them a lot of questions on why they wanted to keep declawing cats.
Here’s the answer we received from the Hospital Administrator of Cascade Hospital for Animals on July 29,2021.
“The owners have responded to your request for an interview with the following statement:
“Based on the inflammatory and hostile nature of your email to our owners, they have no interest in pursuing an interview or any further communication with you.”
Here’s our email that our Exec. Director sent to the owner veterinarians who said it was inflammatory and hostile.
“Dear Dr. Seigle, Dr. McBride, and Dr. Paplawsky,
I am the Executive Director of Citythekitty.org nonprofit and I work on the cause to end declawing.
I write investigative stories on my website about declawing in the American veterinary profession.
I’m working on a story about Cat Friendly Practices who discontinued being a Cat Friendly Practice so that they could continue declawing cats.
After so many years of proudly being a Cat Friendly Practice I was wondering why you recently decided NOT to be friendly to cats anymore?
I was informed that the three of you made the decision to continue performing this mutilating surgery and instead of continuing as a cat friendly practice.
Is it safe to assume you would rather make a profit declawing and harming cats than to remain a veterinary hospital that committed to being their friends?
Is that why it was so easy for you to drop your Cat Friendly Practice membership?
Any insight you could provide about this decision would be helpful.
VCA banned declawing in all their practices in Feb. 2020. They spelled it out perfectly in their official statement which is here in my story.
Are you aware that MSU stopped teaching and performing declawing a long time ago?
AAFP and Fear Free no longer allow their members to mutilate cats either. They all made their decisions to ban this inhumane amputation procedure because of the latest facts, data, and peer reviewed studies that show how bad it is for a cat.
The world knows that declawing does not benefit cats in any way so why are you still holding tight for the right to amputate their much needed toe bones and claws?
Dr. McBride, you acknowledge in your bio on the practice website that vet med is all about continuous learning.
Have you been keeping up with the current findings about the detrimental affects of declawing on feline welfare?
Is declawing an area that you chose to not stay current on?
Dr Paplawsky, this is what is said about you on the practice website, “Dr. Gregory Paplawsky practices at both locations in addition to being the Physical Rehabilitation Director who helps dogs of all ages live healthier, more mobile, and pain free lives. Dr. Paplawsky’s professional interests include expanding his own knowledge and offering more treatment methods and recovery options for his patients.”
Dr Paplawsky, you believe in helping dogs live healthier, more mobile, and pain free lives so why would you be ok with allowing such an unnecessary and inhumane amputation procedure that causes cats to be unhealthy, causes discomfort and pain, and causes them to be less mobile.
Do you believe that declawing is ok for a cat’s long term health and well-being?
Do you care more about the welfare of dogs than cats?
If this was a procedure that was done to dogs, would you want it to continue in your practice or would you see the value of stopping and just educating your clients about the humane behavioral solutions to scratching issues?
Dr. Siegle , this is what is said about you on your website. “Dr. Siegle is responsible for the growth of our hospital into a leader in veterinary medicine in West Michigan. A 1978 graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, he carries on the legacy left him by his father, the hospital’s founder. His areas of special interest in veterinary medicine are dermatology, internal and preventative medicine and he is particularly sensitive to quality-of-life issues.”
Dr Siegle, if the American veterinary profession is moving away from declawing because of how bad it is for cats, how do you feel your hospital can be a leader in veterinary medicine in West Michigan when you chose to continue to be able to perform such an inhumane, cruel, and unnecessary amputation procedure over being a Cat Friendly Practice that puts the health and well-being of cats first and just educates cat owners about the easy, humane alternatives?
You also say that you are sensitive to quality-of-life issues.
Are you aware of how declawing causes a decline in the quality of life for most declawed cats after having their toe bones amputated and are forced to walk on those amputation sites for the rest of their lives?
Just a FYI, some of the information on your website about declawing is antiquated and false.
For instance, you mention that you offer declawing because of your concern that cats will not have homes and more would be euthanized or be forced to live outside due to their scratching behavior. However, the true facts show that many declawed cats do not have homes BECAUSE of being declawed. There is no evidence that more cats will be killed if declawing is banned in fact the opposite has been happening.
You can read #4 and #10 sections in my Facts vs Myths section. My information has been reviewed by accomplished veterinarians who are experts in this issue.
Perhaps you may want to update the declawing information on your website.
So now that you know better, will you do better?
Or are you going to continue being unfriendly to cats and harming their health and well-being by barbarically amputating their toes and claws?
I am interested in knowing what factors influenced your decision to continue declawing in lieu of remaining a Cat Friendly Practice, was this a debated topic among all of your veterinarians or did the three of you make it unilaterally, and why you still think it is necessary to declaw cats given that we know it is no longer considered a humane or necessary procedure?
I am hoping that the three of you would give this important topic a discussion again.
Do you want to be known as veterinarians and a vet practice that was on the wrong side of history and who actually chose declawing and greed OVER being a practice that put the health and well-being of cats first?”
This animal hospital was in our 2018 Cat Friendly Practice declawing survey.
Here’s what we discovered on how they address declawing on a short phone call to 3 different employees.
The researcher asked for the price of a spay for a cat and the employee asked, “Are we also doing a 2 paw declaw?” Employee said that they use a laser which is safer. They said that all 12 vets do them and the declaws are a pretty common procedure there.
After the researcher asked for a declaw price the employee asked, “Is that for 4 paws or 2 paws?” A 4 paw laser declaw for a cat over 6 months is $491-$521. The employee said that their vets are the brightest from vet school who rotate weekly on surgeries. They said that they consider declaws a regular and routine procedure. They said that the laser is less painful, quicker recovery, and less medications needed.
Researcher asked for the price of a declaw for a 6 month old and 1 year old cat and another employee asked, “Are we thinking just 2 paws or all 4 paws?” They said that an all four paw declaw is between $445-$475 and said you can bring the cats in and the doctor will exam your kitty to see if it is healthy enough to go under anesthesia and if they are, you can leave the kitties have the procedure done the same day. They recommend blood work but it isn’t mandatory. They said Dr Paplawsky does lots of the surgeries and they can schedule the appointment with him.
ALWAYS TAKE THE HIGH ROAD, BE POLITE, AND EDUCATE.