Here is a disturbing and sick letter that a pro-declaw American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) veterinarian in Denver is sending to AAFP board members and to ethical and humane no-declaw veterinary practices in America.
Here are the exact words in the note from this pro-declaw veterinarian who is a shame to the veterinary profession. Also here is the AAFP revised declawing position statement that this AAFP vet is upset about. [button href=”https://www.catvets.com/guidelines/position-statements/declawing” newwindow=”yes”] AAFP 2017 Declawing Position Statement[/button]
Dear AAFP Board Members and Members,
I have been an AAFP member for over 14 years. I am a practice owner and a
well-respected veterinarian in my area. My practice is located in an affluent area and most of my owners treat their cats as family members. I am writing AAFP Board Members in response to your declaw statement that you recently released. I am also sending this letter out to AAFP
I was very disappointed in your judgment to email AAFP members such an opinionated,
biased and political statement. Your statement divides and separates our profession. It
promotes hostility and feelings of anger towards one another inside and outside the profession.
Not everyone in the association “strongly opposes” declawing. Although not a perfect solution, it does have important benefits for the lives of cats.
I am not promoting onychectomies, I am promoting choice. Declawing is an elective medical
procedure that should be discussed and decided between an owner and veterinarian. Let the
owner and the doctor decide the correct medical procedure for the patient. Don’t make this
elective procedure political! Let pet parents and veterinarians make their OWN choices.
Owners that chose to declaw their cats are not bad people. In fact I see the opposite. The
declawed cats in my practice live privileged lives, better than most humans on this planet.
Veterinarians that chose to declaw cats should not be thought of as bad and evil veterinarians.
We are not committing a crime and we certainly do not need the AAFP to make us feel as
though we are.
The suicide rate in veterinary medicine is higher than any other profession.
That is a sad fact and a big problem, especially when veterinary medicine is a CHOSEN
profession! When well-respected organizations such as AAFP write opinionated statements, it
leads to cyberbulling and animosity between veterinarians. How are we helping each other as a profession? You should be promoting unity and kindness within the profession, not hatred and division.
Declawing has many positive outcomes. I have never had an owner regret their decision to
declaw. In fact, I find that it unites owners and their cats; the relationship strengthens. Happy
owners make for happy cats. In many cases it prevents a cat from being relinquished to a
shelter. People are more willing to adopt a cat if they know that declawing is an option if
Declawing helps cats find their forever homes. One of my employees owns a cat rescue
program. She has operated it for over 15 years. She says that declawed cats are adopted out
immediately and she has a waiting list for people that want a declawed cat. Shelter cats that are declawed have a greater chance of being adopted whereas the non-declawed cats are left
behind for euthanasia.
I do not promote declawing in my practice nor do I advertise it. If an owner wants their cat
declawed, I do not discourage or encourage them. I educate them on the procedure and THEY
get to make the decision. It is unfair to make owners feel guilty about declawing. We should be
grateful that the owner is giving the cat a home.
Onychectomies that are performed correctly should have few complications. I use a laser
and have minimal complications if any. If the procedure is done incorrectly then it should be
considered inhumane, just like a neuter or spay that is performed incorrectly. If you or your
colleagues have bad experiences with declaws then it is possible they are not being done
correctly. In this case, you can either chose not to perform them, or learn the correct way to
perform onychectomies. If performed correctly, there are few complications and recovery is fast.
In conclusion, I leave you with a few thoughts to consider:
● Be open-minded about other people’s opinions and lifestyles.
● If performed correctly, an onychectomy should not be any more painful or have any more
complications then a neuter or spay.
● I would rather see a cat adopted and declawed then left behind in a shelter to be
euthanized. How many healthy cats are euthanized daily in this country? TOO MANY!!
● No one is the winner with this argument, not even the cat!!
● Don’t divide our profession. Don’t become political, radical and angry; keep AAFP an
amicable, harmonious and respected association.
Concerned veterinarian and genuine cat lover
(I have decided to make this letter anonymous. My only reason for being anonymous is to
prevent cyberbullying to my practice.)