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July 16, 2016.

American Animal Hospital Association veterinary hospitals are supposed to be the best of the best because they have 900 standards of care.

  They recently came out with a “Declaw Communications Toolkit” for all their hospitals and veterinarians.

As most of you know AAHA is STRONGLY OPPOSED to declawing.  Here is their declawing policy. [button href=”″ color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] AAHA declawing policy[/button]

The problem though is that AAHA does not make their hospitals follow their policy of declawing as you can see in their press release last year to their members and to the world.


Let’s try to inspire AAHA to raise their standards and make their hospitals truly excellent and put accountability in their declaw position.

They have so many other mandatory requirements and 900 standards of care, so let’s inspire them to do the same for declawing.  They even say that their hospitals can’t do non-anesthesia dentals, so they surely can say that their hospitals can’t declaw cats if they truly care about the welfare of cats. OR at least make it mandatory to ONLY amputate kitties toes and claws as a LAST RESORT.  Then we would see 1 in 10,000 cats declawed instead of 1 in 4 like it is now.


I think their DECLAWING COMMUNICATIONS TOOLKIT had some typos in it so let’s help them with this.

Also I’m not sure if ALL their members received their toolkit since many of their veterinary practices are still declawing lots and lots of cats and kittens and deceiving cat owners about this inhumane procedure. Some of the recent ones that I found out about are these examples. 

An AAHA practice in Missouri that lets kids watch the cat toe amputation surgeries. My FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation) team was told by an employee at this AAHA practice that they declaw 4-5 kitties a week and sometimes 5 a day for $80 for the front paw amputations. And that the $35 pain package meds are optional for the front declaws. (You are required to buy the pain package if you get the $120 4 paw declaw)

Just a simple question AAHA leaders. Do you really think that a cat getting 10 toe bones amputated doesn’t need pain meds? If you had some sort of standards of CARE, this torture wouldn’t be taking place!

[button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] AAHA ‘s Declaw Communications Toolkit[/button]  




Number one –  Ensure the entire staff knows the hospital’s no-declaw policy and can refer callers to it if necessary. Hospital should have a written policy or position statement on why they don’t declaw.

Number two- Ensure the entire staff is adequately trained to talk about cat behavior and behavior modification techniques that help REDIRECT cat scratching behaviors to scratching posts. Staff should also have cat behavior information on the hospital website or handouts available to refer cat owners to when necessary. Since AAHA has 16 other brochures about all other subjects but none about declawing and one that is about scratching behaviors but isn’t available on their website, please print out these brochures from the Paw Project [button href=”” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] Declawing Brochures[/button]

Number three- Hospital should always discuss behavioral modification alternatives and have experts trained to trim nails, apply Soft Paws, and teach clients about commonsense humane alternatives like scratchers and deterrents to declawing.

Number four– Since the hospital doesn’t do declaw procedures, the entire hospital staff should be educated about what declawing entails and should be prepared to educate clients about how it is harmful to cats and all about why cats need their toe bones and claws for so many important aspects of their health and well being.

Number five– Hospitals should have brochures available about declawing and should offer scratchers and Soft Paws in advertisements.

Number six– Hospitals should thank “people opposed to declawing” for inspiring AAHA to do the right thing and make all their hospitals torture, fear, and pain free from this elective, non-therapeutic, mutilating procedure called declawing.

Number seven– Hospital staff should be cautious to not talk disrespectfully about anti-declaw proponents and always be grateful to them for creating this positive change in the veterinary profession in North America. Despite the loss of income in your hospitals from stopping this barbaric and unnecessary amputation surgery, there are ways to replace this surgery like selling scratchers and other humane alternatives to scratching issues. We encourage AAHA veterinarians to come up with innovative and inspiring campaigns in your areas to address cat scratching behavior.  This will make us as veterinarians and as an organization that is all about excellence in the standards of veterinary care, look like we are finally putting the welfare of ALL animals first and are true advocates for ALL animals.  All AAHA hospitals will now only have doctors who are honoring the oath they took to just heal and help animals and not declawing cats.

Number eight– Anti declaw proponents should always be referred to “people who oppose declawing”, “people who are on the right side of cat history”,  and “people who saved cats from lots of unnecessary pain and suffering in the hands of doctors who knew the harm and torture they were causing, yet enjoyed the extra money that declawing brought them.”

Number nine– Anti-declaw proponents should always be treated with the same respect that clients are and thanked for helping pro-declaw veterinarians to stop selling their souls to this inhumane procedure.



Here is the advice they give on how to respond to the comments about declawing on their social media pages.



It’s really too bad that the leaders at AAHA just didn’t do the right thing and write up simple mandatory standards that all their hospitals must follow that would go along with their anti-declawing policy.

AAHA is  strongly opposed to declawing and obviously they believe declawing is wrong.

One must ask why does AAHA have a strong position against declawing if you do nothing to enforce it in any single way at your hospitals? What’s the point? To just look politically correct and follow how the winds of change are blowing?

AAHA took the cowardly way out to help their vets who support declawing, stay under the radar with this inhumane procedure.

They simply do not care how their veterinarians address declawing because if they did, they would take the appropriate actions instead of this pitiful Declaw Communications Toolkit.

I asked a few of my veterinarian friends who have AAHA practices and who don’t declaw cats, what they would do to make AAHA hospitals live up to their highest standards of veterinary care in regards to declawing. Here are some of their ideas.


  1. Practice has a policy that it does not perform surgical procedures unless they are medically necessary.  Practice does not perform surgeries for cosmetic reasons under any circumstances.


2. Practice employs medical policies designed to prevent pain and optimize quality of life for all    patients.


3. Practice does not recommend or perform any medical procedure or treatment recommendation that may cause undue suffering without significant medical benefit.   


Winki was declawed at an AAHA hospital and the veterinary professionals wrote “Get Well” on her cone

WinkiCollage1 copy

Teeger, Abby, and Ryder were declawed at an AAHA hospital after the AVMA/AAFP vet who declawed them and the vet owner of the AAHA practice, talked the first time cat owners OUT of using the humane alternatives and told them that declawing is a common and standard procedure and their cats would be fine.

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Here is their sad and heartbreaking story [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] 3 Kitties declawed at an AAHA standard of excellence hospital [/button]

Here’s a VCA,  AAHA hospital in TEXAS that is also AAFP Cat Friendly practice. I guess they are more furniture friendly at this hospital than Cat Friendly.