Story published on August 6, 2021

We have hope. AAHA hired a new Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jessica Vogelsang in 2021. She is against declawing and in 2016 wrote, ““Tail crops, ear docks, declaws, and debarking for any reason other than the health of the pet should go the way of the dodo.”   Here’s our story about Dr Vogelsang and declawing. Dr Jessica Vogelsang’s opinion about declawing

Please sign our petition to We are almost at 50,000 signatures. AAHA Petition

Are the leaders of confused?   If you know any of them, please ask them why AAHA won’t ban declawing. “leaders.”

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has over 50,000 veterinary team members representing 4,500+ animal hospitals and they updated their declawing position statement in June 2021.

AAHA charges around $1500 a year to be an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.

They say they strongly oppose declawing, explaining that declawing is no longer a reasonable or supported procedure…
But then they say if veterinarians are going to declaw, they should use pain meds before, during, and after.
So why is AAHA against this barbaric and inhumane cat mutilation but then they ultimately condone it? AAHA declawing position


1) One of AAHA’s MANDATORY STANDARDS is, “Practice team members demonstrate humane care of animals.”  

Does AAHA believe that declawing is humane care for cats?


2) In their 2021 position statement AAHA says that they strongly oppose declawing and that vets should tell cat owners why it is no longer supported and why it is not a reasonable procedure, yet AAHA ultimately condones declawing by saying if it’s going to be done, then use pain meds before, during, and after. AAHA’s Declawing Position Statement


3) The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)- AAHA emailed us  and some of our supporters in July 2021 and said, “We strive to uphold standards of veterinary excellence, but we do not instruct veterinarians how to practice medicine.”


In 2013 AAHA told their veterinarians that they cannot perform nonanesthetic or anesthesia-free dental cleaning procedures because it is unacceptable and below the standard of care. AAHA also said nonanesthesia dental cleaning procedures are not appropriate because of patient stress and injury.

Also one of AAHA’s MANDATORY STANDARDS is, “Practice team members demonstrate humane care of animals.”  

AAHA has 900 Standards of Care in a 49 page manual and they tell their veterinarians how to practice medicine in many of their MANDATORY STANDARDS or else they can’t be an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.


4) AAHA was one of the first veterinary organizations to speak out against declawing. Now they are one of the last to allow it.

VCA, Banfield, American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), Mission Veterinary Partners, Modern Animal, Bond Vet, PetCo, Petsmart, Ethos vet, and Fear Free Pets have banned declawing in their practices.

(April 2022. National Veterinary Associates (NVA) with over 1000 clinics in America told us they are committed to no longer allow declawing and will end it in 1/2 their practices within 3-5 months and work on the rest of them.)


5) Even though AAHA has been strongly opposed to declawing, they came out with a Declaw Communications Toolkit in 2016 to HELP their AAHA Accredited declawing hospitals. Here’s some of the info that’s on their website for their declawing vets. AAHA Declawing Staff Training Guide AAHA Declawing Social Media Responses


6) There are 30 veterinary colleges in America and 3 of those vet colleges still perform declawing in their clinics. 2 of the 3 are AAHA hospitals. Many AAHA Accredited Animal Hospitals were the last ones to stop offering declawing. 

Here’s the story. Declawing and Veterinary Colleges


7) AAHA gives their AAHA Hospital of the Year Award to vet practices that declaw lots of cats.  Here’s our story about AAHA’s 2020 Declawing Animal Hospital of the Year, Manheim Pike Veterinary Hospital in Lancaster, PA. Manheim Pike Veterinary Hospital Declaws Cats


8) AAHA sicced their lawyers on us and forced us to take down some of their declawing info and logo from our stories after we published the story about how their 2020 Animal Hospital of the Year declaws lots of cats.  We are shining light on the FACTS on how AAHA ultimately condones declawing even though they say they are strongly opposed to it.  Here’s our press release about this intimidation. AAHA Sicced Their Lawyers On Us


9) Here is a story about 3 cats who were declawed at an AAHA hospital after the vets talked the owners out of the humane alternatives. The 3 cats had horrific complications and had to have most of their paws amputated.  AAHA did nothing about this and the veterinary medical board let them off the hook. Horrific story about 3 cats who were declawed at an AAHA hospital

10) Many AAHA Accredited Animal Hospitals declaw cats. Many of them list their declawing services and information on their websites. Here’s our story about many of these AAHA hospitals and their declawing info and how they are often not honest about their credentials. AAHA Declawing Hospitals

It’s our opinion based on years of research that AAHA doesn’t want to lose the money they receive from their AAHA Accredited Declawing Animal Hospitals if they were to not allow declawing like they did for non-anesthesia dentals in 2013. After all, AAHA has a lot of BIG salaries to pay their top executives as you can see in this 2019 tax form.


11) The ASPCA refers pet owners to AAHA accredited animal hospitals.  The ASPCA doesn’t want declawing banned. Is AAHA paying the ASPCA for this referral service and to help keep declawing legal so that their AAHA Accredited Declawing hospitals can keep profiting from this inhumane, cruel, and mutilating amputation procedure?  The ASPCA doesn’t support banning declawing.



12) American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) banned declawing on July 1, 2021. Some Cat Friendly Practices/AAHA Animal Hospitals stopped being a CAT FRIENDLY Practice so they could keep declawing cats. Here’s an example of one of these AAHA Animal Hospitals that chose to keep declawing over being a CAT FRIENDLY Practice. AAHA Animal Hospital Cascade Hospital for Animals Chose Declawing over Being a Cat Friendly Practice


13)  AAHA declawing veterinarians fight to keep this cruelty legal and AAHA won’t stop them. AAHA vets fight to keep cruelty legal.


14) Declawing was banned in Austin, TX in March of 2021.   Here’s an AAHA hospital in Austin, TX that is still offering declawing services. Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital. 9324 C. Highway 290 West
Austin, TX 78736

They have laser declawing on their website. Laser declaw

The employee says that a two paw declaw is $694.58 and a 4 paw declaw is $927.43.  They said that it is cheaper if you do the declaw and neuter at the same time. They said that they do laser declaws and every cat heals differently and some cats tend to show signs of limping but it’s typically going to not be permanent and just until they heal. They said that they recommend a consultation with one of their doctors to ask any questions.   They said that they have two doctors that can do the declaws and their website lists Dr Sarah Kneupper and  Dr Jeremy Varga.

Here’s another AAHA hospital with an Austin address that is offering declawing.  Griffith Small Animal Hospital.AAHA

3407 Northland Dr, Austin, TX, United States, Texas
Employee said declawing is a service they provide but they don’t do too many and that a declaw is from $600-$800.


15) Is this an example of why AAHA won’t ban declawing?

Do they not want to lose the membership dues from their declawing veterinarians like this one who own animal hospitals that are AAHA accredited?

This comment by Dr Robert Tope was made on AAHA’s Facebook page in 2013.

AAHA said in this 2013 post, “Did you know? AAHA is opposed to the declawing of domestic cats. A new documentary, “The Paw Project Movie,” details the anti-declawing grassroots movement that has gained ground thanks to Dr. Jennifer Conrad and The Paw Project. Check out the documentary’s trailer below!”

AAHA was one of the first veterinary organizations to come out against declawing yet now they are one of the last to ban it.

As this post indicates, AAHA seemed happy that Dr Conrad’s efforts were gaining ground to end this animal cruelty.

It seems very strange that AAHA wouldn’t also do their part to end this inhumane amputation procedure considering in 2013 AAHA told their veterinarians that they cannot perform non-anesthetic or anesthesia-free dental cleaning procedures because they are unacceptable and below the standard of care. AAHA also said nonanesthesia dental cleaning procedures are not appropriate because of patient stress and injury.

In AAHA’s 2021 position statement they say that they are strongly opposed to declawing and that veterinarians should tell clients that it is no longer a reasonable procedure and shouldn’t be supported.

Do you think the reason is because they are heeding these warnings from their declawing veterinarians and they don’t want to take away this barbaric, cruel, inhumane and very unnecessary amputation procedure from them?

(May, 2022 UPDATE. According to an employee at Dr Robert Tope’s AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital, Electric City Animal Clinic, in South Carolina, Dr Mark Finke, Dr Tim Herold, and Dr Robert Tope perform their declaws and use a blade. When the employee was asked if the cats are ok after a declaw, the employee said, “Yes, of course.”  The employee was asked if there are any long term issues from a declaw and they laughed and said that’s a matter of opinion and you can talk to the doctor about that.)


Examples of AAHA hospitals and declawing. 2022.

AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital, Town and Country Veterinary Clinic in Marianette, WI., has a sign like this up in lobby.

This AAHA hospital offers traditional and laser declawing for cats and say they have this sign up so that their clients know that it’s an option. The employees say that the cats usually recover very quickly and well from declawing.







Here’s another AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital that declaws cats. December 2022.   Creekside Pet Care Center in Keller, TX. 

Here’s the link to their declawing page.

The employee said that Dr Fischer does their declaws and said she is an amazing surgeon and doctor who is very informative and “takes care of animals really good.”

When asked if she does declaws often, the employee laughed and said she does them pretty much every Friday. When asked if the cats are ok long term after the declaw the employee said, “Yea, they do great.” 

The employee said she uses a laser that is a cleaner cut and helps with the recovery time.


Here are more stories about AAHA Accredited Animal Hospitals and declawing. AAHA Declawing Hospitals


PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION TO AAHA. WE NEED TO GET TO 50,000 SIGNATURES. (No need to donate to change. org to sign it.) AAHA Petition

Please send a polite note to and ask them if they are confused about all of this.

Let us know if you get a reply!

It’s our opinion that doesn’t want to ban declawing because they don’t want to lose the membership revenue from their declawing animal hospitals. It’s completely possible that some of the revenue that AAHA gets from their declawing animal hospitals comes from performing this inhumane, mutilating, and barbaric amputation procedure.

Know the facts. Here’s our declaw facts section that has been reviewed and fact checked my many accomplished veterinarians who are experts in this area. Declaw Facts vs Myths

Here’s a July 26, 2021 note we received from AAHA.

AAHA banned nonanesthesia dentals in 2013 and they have many MANDATORY standards that their hospitals must follow so they DO instruct veterinarians how to practice medicine.

“Dear City the Kitty,

We understand the close bond that pet owners share with their pets.  This communication will serve as an acknowledgement of your complaint against AAHA.  It is unfortunate that your experience with our organization does not meet your expectations.  AAHA is a nonregulatory organization with voluntary membership.  We strive to uphold standards of veterinary excellence, but we do not instruct veterinarians how to practice medicine.

AAHA’s position statement states that we strongly oppose the declawing of domestic cats and support veterinarians’ efforts to educate cat owners while providing effective alternatives.  If declawing is deemed necessary, it is done with multimodal pain control before, during, and for an appropriate length of time after the surgery.  Our full position statement on declawing can be found at

Thank you for contacting us about your concern.


Margaret, BA, CVT

Membership Audit and Control Committee Co-Chair

AAHA Practice Consultant”

Always take the high road, be polite, and educate.