Story Published on March 5, 2022

Thrive Pet Healthcare has more than 400 practices in America and they allow declawing in their stand alone clinics. You can search for Thrive clinics near you. Thrive Pet Healthcare Clinics

We reached out to Thrive Pet Healthcare in February, 2022 about this issue and this was the response from their Senior Communications Director, Mariya Barnes, who blocked us on Twitter, even though we never tweeted anything about her personally.

“Thanks so much for your email. Please see Thrive Pet Healthcare’s position below. The quote can be attributed to Dr. Scott Schatzberg, Chief Medical Officer at Thrive Pet Healthcare.

 “We trust and respect our teams to use their expertise in the best interests of their patients’ health and well-being. Our doctors encourage alternatives to elective declawing with pet parents and pursue declawing only when there is not another viable option.  We recognize that our teams may face extenuating circumstances where a procedure could prevent euthanasia and save a life. In these, hopefully rare, cases, we want to support our doctors’ and pet parents’ choices when all alternatives have failed. Regarding our partnership with Fear Free, 12 of our network hospitals presently participate in a pilot and are projected to receive Fear Free Practice Certification by summer 2022. We also have individual team members who chose to get Fear Free certified – we always encourage our doctors to make the personal commitment to not to declaw. We continue receiving interest from more of our hospitals to get certified as a Fear Free Practice. We look forward to watching this partnership grow over the coming years.”

We replied back to Thrive with some important questions about this issue, asked them to give us their data and info that shows that declawing saves lives and prevents euthanasia, and educated them about the facts about declawing.

We haven’t heard back from them.  Please send Thrive Pet Healthcare a POLITE note and ask them to send us their data and info that shows that declawing saves lives and ask them why they allow this animal cruelty in their stand alone clinics.  Here are their emails. woof@thrivepet.com and their senior communications director’s email, mariya.barnes@pathwayvets.com

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Please take 60 seconds and sign our petition to Thrive Pet Healthcare. Thrive Pet Healthcare Petition

Also, send Thrive a polite note and ask them why they allow this animal cruelty in their Thrive Pet Healthcare stand alone clinics. Thrive Contact form

Thrive Pet Healthcare entered into a partnership with Petco and none of the Thrive Petco clinics perform declawing. They do perform spay and neutering.

In 2018 Petco told us this, “Please know that Petco and the Petco Foundation do not support the practice of declawing unless it is a medical necessity (for the cat).”

Please send Petco a polite note and ask them why they are partnering with a company like Thrive Pet Healthcare that allows this cat cruelty in their stand alone clinics. Here’s Petco’s email. customerrelations@petco.com

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Thrive Pet Healthcare says in their mission that they aim to revolutionize veterinary care for pets and their medical teams are able to dedicate their passions towards evolving veterinary standards, benefiting both pets and their human families.

We asked Thrive how does declawing fits into “revolutionizing vet care and evolving veterinary standards” to benefit cats but Thrive never got back with us.

Thrive Pet Healthcare says that they are empathetic, supportive, and trustworthy and always hold themselves accountable.

We asked them how does allowing declawing fit into these values. Thrive never got back with us.

Thrive Pet Healthcare says they offer medical excellence and their providers continually enhance global standards of veterinary care.

We asked them how can allowing declawing fit into this statement when it is banned in 42 countries and all the veterinary organizations throughout Europe are completely against this inhumane and unnecessary amputation procedure.

Thrive never got back with us.

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Our researchers looked into how some of the Thrive Pet Healthcare stand alone clinics address declawing by making a short phone call asking for the cost of a spay/declaw, what doctors perform their declaws, and if declawing is ok for a cat long term.

We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer a backlash for their honest answers.

 

Riverside Drive animal care center,  Dublin, OH.  This is an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.

They are not listed on Catvets.com as a Cat Friendly Practice but their website says they are a Cat Friendly Practice. (They have one vet, Dr Yanjie Chen who is an AAFP member.) Riverside Drive Cat Friendly Practice Page

The employee at Riverside Drive said they only perform declaws for an absolute medical reason for the cat or human like if they have a blood clotting disorder and are not able to get scratched but they don’t like to do declaws.

Their declaws need to be approved by a doctor and they are around $580- $780.

We reached out to AAFP (catvets.com) to ask them if Riverside Drive Animal Care Center is a Cat Friendly Practice since they are still providing declawing services but they never got back with us. 

Here’s a 2018 story we did about this AAHA hospital and Thrive Pet Healthcare practice. http://citythekitty.org/an-aaha-cat-friendly-and-pain-free-declawing-hospital/

 

Stoneyridge veterinary service, Troy, OH

Employee said that Dr Kelley Young does their declaws. A neuter/declaw is $625.80.

The employee was asked if a declaw is ok for a cat and they said that it is known to cause arthritis because it involves clipping off the first knuckle.

They said that they will only do a 4 paw declaw if a cat owner has a medical condition like a blood clotting disorder or is taking blood thinners because it is inhumane to do all four paws. Link to Stonyridge’s surgery page. Declaws are routine surgeries at Stonyridge

 

Gentle Care Animal Hospital at Ten Ten, Cary, NC

A declaw is around $200 and you need to get an exam to do blood work and vaccines and you can drop the cat off for the declaw procedure and for the exam.

 

Gentle Care Animal Hospital at Tyron, Raleigh, NC.  This clinic is one of the 12 Thrive clinics that is participating in this Fear Free program. (Here is the link to more info about this Fear Free partnership. Thrive and Fear Free partnership

The employee said that they only do declaws under special circumstances like if the cat has behavioral issues and if all other options have been tried. They said that Dr Mallo and Dr Baily do their declaws. Dr Mallo and Dr Baily are Fear Free Certified veterinarians and Fear Free Pets told us in 2021 that they do not allow their Fear Free Certified Veterinarians to declaw cats.

We reached out to Fear Free about this issue and they said, “Thank you for reaching out.  We are excited to be working with Thrive Pet Healthcare.  Specifically, we are working with 12 hospitals, with more that are interested, on working towards Fear Free Practice Certification.  As you are aware, starting January 1st, this year, our Certified Practices are not allowed to provide declaw services.  We are not able to enforce what services are provided or not provided within a clinic at an individual level of certification.  We look forward to certifying as many hospitals as possible in the Thrive Pet Healthcare network.  They are a great organization to work with and we are thrilled with their interest in making Fear Free an initiative of theirs this year.”

This response was confusing so we asked them this. “OK, so just to be clear. You don’t allow your Fear Free Veterinarians to declaw cats anymore and you don’t allow declawing in your Fear Free Practices but you do not enforce your own rules and don’t care if they are breaking your rules? When someone informs you that FF veterinarians are still performing declawing you just look the other way? Do you believe that it’s ok that the leaders with Thrive Pet Healthcare are still allowing declawing in their practices?”

Fear Free Pets and Dr Marty Becker never replied back to our email.

 

Animal Medical Center of Forney, TX

They use a scalpel and when asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said yes.

 

Rowlett Veterinary clinic, Rowlett, TX

The researcher asked for the cost of a declaw and the employee asked, “Just the front two or all four?”

They said that a Spay/4 paw declaw is $300 and said Dr Rachel Gelber does the 2 paw declaws and Dr Dona Elton, their medical director, does the 2 and 4 paw declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said they believe so. They use a scalpel.

 

Anthony Wayne Animal Hospital, Maumee, OH.

A spay declaw is $380. They said that Dr Steven Reece does their declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term they said yes. They said that there is a healing process, it’s best to do the declaw early, and the cats generally do fairly well.

 

Oxford Animal Hospital, Overland Park, KS.  

They said that a spay/declaw is $855 and their vets use a laser. When asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat they said yes.

 

Marathon Veterinary Hospital, FL.

They said that their doctors prefer not to do declaws.

 

Hudson Animal Hospital, New Hampshire.

Employee said that they don’t do declaws because their doctors don’t think it’s ethical.  Employee was asked if a declaw is bad for a cat and they said, “Not if it’s done correctly.”

 

Kindness Animal Hospital East, Cape Coral, FL.

They said that their doctors don’t consider declawing to be humane and they do not perform them.

 

Town East Animal Hospital, Mesquite, TX

They don’t declaw cats.

 

Lyndhurst Animal Clinic, Lyndhurst, OH

They don’t do declawing. They said that their doctors don’t feel it’s in the interest for a cat. They talked about the humane options and described how it is an amputation.

 

Cheyenne West Animal Hospital, Las Vegas, NV

Cheyenne advertises their feline declaws. Link to their website. Cheyenne’s feline declaws

You need to have an exam first and a doctor needs to give the estimate for the declaw. They said they rarely do the declaws. They said that after the exam they would get the declaw scheduled for you.

 

The Pet Hospital Downtown, Memphis, TN

A doctor needs to give the estimate for the cost of a declaw. They said that they don’t always do declaws and you need an appointment first.

 

The Pet Hospital Collierville, TN

The doctor needs to give an estimate for the declaw. They said some of their doctors do the declaws. They said that you can just drop the cat off for both the exam and declaw/neuter.

 

St Francis Pet Care Centers, Trinity, FL

They said that their veterinarians do not want to perform declaws.

 

Liberty Grove Animal Hospital, TX.

They don’t declaw because they said they don’t have a laser.