Story published January 18, 2023.

6 Republican legislators in the VA Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources committee voted to kill the anti-declawing bill in Virginia today.

4 Democrat legislators in that committee voted in support of this bill, HB 1382.

All the big humane animal welfare organizations like the, HSUS, Alley Cat Allies, and many others in Virginia testified in support of this bill and how declawing is inhumane and never necessary.

The only opposition to this bill was from Susan Seward, lobbyist for the Virginia veterinary medical association and Heidi Crosky with the Virginia Animal Owners Alliance

Here’s the short video of the Virginia Animal Owners Alliance testimony.  Heidi Crosky’s testimony

Here’s the short video of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Assoc. testimony.  Susan Seward’s testimony

The VVMA used the human health excuse and HIV patients and a worker at a biohazard lab as to why declawing shouldn’t be banned.  Please give a review on their facebook page and educate them on how there are always humane alternatives to any human health issue and declawing should never be the answer.   Here’s their email.

Here’s a 2024 update on this declawing bill in Virginia.

Fyi, on May 17, 2023 the Virginia OSHA sent us this note. Basically they are saying that if someone has a cut then cover it up with gloves. Common sense type of protection.

“The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program does not make suggestions as to whether employees should get their cats declawed. This is a labor/management decision between the employer and their employees to which VOSH would not be a party. However, the PPE standard for hand protection,  1910.38  does require that  employers select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.  The bloodborne pathogen standard,   1910.1030 also requires gloves be provided to and worn by employees when there is reasonably anticipated contact with blood or other potentially infectious material.

Ron Graham, VOSH Health Compliance Director, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.”


Heidi Crosky with Virginia Animal Owners Alliance used the human health excuse and actually compared spay and neutering to declawing in her testimony on why they don’t want declawing banned.

Please give a review on their facebook page and educate her on how there are always humane alternatives to any health issues and declawing should never be the answer. She said they are cat lovers.

Here are the 6 Republicans who voted kill this important cat protection bill along with the donations these members received from the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association throughout their time in office.

Robert Orrock– . $14,000

Matthew Fariss– . $2500

Michael Webert– . $2000

Tony Wilt– $750

Chris Runion – . $0

Thomas Wright- . $0

(The Chair of this committee is R. Lee Ware and he received $2000 from the VVMA and the Vice Chair is Danny Marshall and he received $4000 from the VVMA.)

Information on donations is from

Thanks to for assisting us with locating this information.

Here’s the link to this bill. Virginia 2023 Anti-declawing bill.

We sent an email to these Republican legislators asking why they voted to kill this bill and never received a reply. 

If you are one of their constituents please send them a note and ask them the same question and educate them on why declawing is animal cruelty. You can also send them our story.

Here are the 4 Democrat legislators who voted to NOT kill the anti-declawing bill and how much money they received from the VVMA.

Wendy Gooditis. Sponsor of the bill.  $700

Daniel Helmer. $0

Shelly Simonds. $0

Rodney Willett. $0

Here’s the link to these Virginia legislators in this Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources committee . Virginia legislators

The two organizations that testified against this important cat protection bill, HB 1382 anti-declawing bill were the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and the Virginia Animal Owners Alliance.

The Virginia Veterinary Medical Assoc. long time lobbyist, Susan Seward, testified at this hearing today against the bill. The excuse she used for not banning declawing was that declawing is needed for human health reasons like for HIV patients or someone who works in a bio-hazard lab and can’t get scratched. (Number 11 in our Facts vs Myths section will explain why cats should not be declawed for human health reasons.

Here’s the written testimony from Heidi Crosky with Virginia Animal Owners Alliance.


We wanted to see how the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association’s leaders address declawing so we made a short phone call to their practices and asked for the cost of a declaw, if they do them regularly, and if a cat is ok long term after a declaw.

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

President- Dr Marty Betts. Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital. Cat Friendly Practice. They do not declaw cats. They said that it’s not recommended, it’s like taking off your first knuckle, it’s a painful procedure, it’s not good for a cat long term, and not all doctors will do it because of moral reasons.


President Elect- Dr Lauren Maxey. Banfield pet hospital. The employee said they don’t declaw cats and that declawing is not safe for a cat if the cat would get outside and wouldn’t be able to defend themselves. They said that they can clip the cat’s nails.


Vice President- Dr Nathaniel Burke. Rose Hill Veterinary Practice, P. C. Small Animal.   The employee said a neuter/declaw is $300. They said they use the old school process to declaw and Dr Kimberly Cole is the only vet who does their declaws and you have to have a consultation with her first. The employee said it’s one of the surgeries they don’t watch and it’s amputating their toes. They said that Dr Cole does declaws regularly.

Their website Rose Hill Veterinary Practice has a veterinarian’s creed by R. R. Dykstra, Dean College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University 1918 – 1948 and one of the things it says is, “To be merciful and humane, preventing needless suffering among dumb beasts.”
FYI, Kansas State Vet college is one of 5 vet colleges out of 30 that still offer declawing services in their vet clinic. Here’s the story. Vet Colleges and declawing


Secretary-Treasurer- Dr Brian Neumann works at Caring Hands Animal Hospital Alexandria. This hospital has 8 locations and they are AAHA Accredited Animal Hospitals.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Alexandria. They don’t declaw cats. They offer nail trims and say declawing is bad for a cat.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Arlington. They don’t declaw cats.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Ashburn. They don’t declaw cats. They said that declawing is against their policy and there’s been a lot of research that shows declawing can hurt cats and their well being.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Bristow. They said that a declaw/neuter is $738 and they only declaw the front paws. They use a laser for the declaw and said it’s better because it cauterizes as they cut so the healing is faster and there’s less bleeding. The employee said that Dr Karen Murphy and Dr Caroline Boyd do their declaws. When asked if they do them regularly the employee said yes. When asked if the cats are ok long term after a declaw the employee said, “That I can’t say, I’ve seen them go both ways” and laughed.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Centreville. They don’t declaw cats anymore. They said they don’t perform declawing because it is inhumane.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Clarendon. They don’t declaw cats.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Merrifield. They don’t declaw cats and said that it is inhumane.

Caring Hands Animal Hospital- Rockville. MD. They don’t declaw cats. They said that the owners don’t believe in it for humane reasons. They said that if people do nail trims there is no need to declaw them. They said that it is a long recovery process as well.  (Declawing is banned in MD.)

Immediate Past President. Dr Terry Swecker. Director and Professor at Virginia-Maryland Veterinary Teaching Hospital.    They do not perform declawing in their small animal hospital.


Know the facts. Declawing is animal cruelty. Declawing facts vs myths.

Declawing is contributing to the moral stress in the veterinary profession.