May 2016

Here is how the NYSVMS leaders address declawing at their practices! Do they practice what they preach?


A leader is someone who inspires others to greatness. A leader has the integrity to do the right thing even when no one is watching. A leader has heart and inspires others to have compassion. A leader is ethical and honest. A leader is kind to people and animals. A leader is self-less and a role model. A leader follows the path that honors their profession.

A leader practices what they preach.

I think of many amazing leaders like Ghandi, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela.

So why do I bring up leaders you ask? Because we now have leaders in the veterinary profession in NY who stopped a bill in that state that would have protected cats from unnecessary torture and suffering. [button href=”” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] NY Cat Protection Bill Supporters [/button]

 The NYSVMS says why they opposed our Cat Protection Bill and why they wanted to keep declawing legal. “Veterinarians take the issue of onychectomy, a surgical procedure, very seriously. They maintain an obligation to provide pet owners a complete education with regard to normal scratching behavior of cats, the procedure itself, potential risks to the patient, and all available alternatives BEFORE performing the procedure. NYSVMS feels that declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent a cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above-normal health risk to its owner or owners. Clawing and scratching can be highly dangerous and detrimental to families with immuno-compromised members or family member with other health issues: as such, declawing is one method to allow a beloved feline companion to continue to live in a household rather than relinquishing the family pet to a shelter. ” 

Here is the declawing propaganda the NYSVMS put out and successfully stopped our Cat Protection Bill. [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] NYSVMS Declawing Propaganda[/button]

I reached out to the media relations person with the NYSVMS last month to ask her what their President’s personal stance on declawing is at her veterinary practice but never received an answer. I read that The Daily Beast also reached out to this President to get some answers for their big story about veterinarians and declawing that they did a couple weeks ago but also never received a reply. [button href=”” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] Declawing is Good for Veterinarians, but Bad for Cats Story[/button]


These NYSVMS “leaders” all have veterinary practices and most of them perform this “legal surgical procedure” as the President calls declawing in her newsletter below.

I also would like to present you with this question. If the President of the NYSVMS says that declawing a cat with a laser is more humane than the “traditional” way, then why would she also offer the inhumane way to her clients for around $100 cheaper?

(In this video for one of the big laser companies, a vet named Dr Sculley shows you how they use a laser to burn off a cat’s toe. This video is very graphic and disturbing so VIEWER Discretion is ADVISED) [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] LASER DECLAW[/button]

As all of you know, I’m a good researcher, and also have many cat lovers and veterinary professionals who are against declawing that are helping this cause.  Many of these people are helping me with my data collecting because they are on the right side of cat history and want to help end this inhumane and mutilating “legal surgical procedure.”

Below you will read some of the data I’ve collected for this investigative research study starting in Jan 2015.

toes research


I want you to understand carefully that this research study is NOT so you can try to find these “leaders” and threaten them. I won’t be happy if I hear this is taking place.

This is just to give you some facts and show you a glimpse of how they personally address declawing at their practices.

Update – This President called on her 5000 vet members to reach out to the legislators and remind them why our bill that would ban declawing is, “detrimental to animals and their owners.”   Why would a bill that would ban the torture and mutilation of cats be detrimental to animals?? The only thing our bill is detrimental to is their pocketbooks!


   I want to start with the President of this NYSVMS.  In her very first newsletter speech to her veterinary members she wanted to inspire them.  She talks about stopping our Cat Protection Bill and she talks about how veterinarians were cyber bullied in the America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest for performing a “legal surgical procedure.” [button href=”” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] My official press release about the AFV contest[/button]


This President of the NYSVMS does perform this “legal surgical procedure” at her practice.  She has been doing them for over 25 yrs and declaws kittens as young as 3 months old. She recently said in a news story that declawing at her practice is 50% less than what it was 3 yrs ago. [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] 50% less declaws? [/button]

Cat owners ask if their cats will be ok after getting them declawed and her employee will tell you that, “it’s not like she’s a new grad or student so the odds are in your favor of your cat not having issues from the declaw. But I can’t say 100% as in any surgery.

Here are a few samples of how declawing is addressed at her practice from her employees in written inquiries and phone inquiries. Also from some of her clients who had their cats declawed by her.


Cat owner asks to get a 3 yr old cat and a 5 month old cat that they are adopting declawed, Cheektowaga Veterinary Hospital employee asks if you want “two paws or 4 paws, laser or traditional.”  Cat owner asks which one is better they say, “Basic difference is quicker healing time, less bleeding less discomfort because it cauterizes with the laser.” They say,” It’s a toss up between the younger ones on that. Definitely the older one I would consider that route (laser).

Cat owner says they want laser and employee asks,  “just the front you are looking for, or all four?” Cat owner says, all four, and employee says, “If you are looking at all four declaw, that would be $388 plus pain meds you would go home with, we do recommend blood work and ekg prior to having an anesthetic. The blood work is $86 and the EKG is $57. Everything included, with the traditional way, it is $705 or $795 for laser.”

Employee says that an exam is need to make sure they are ok and healthy enough for surgery and that would be $46. They say they normally don’t do this but they could do the blood work and the exam on the same day of the surgery or you could do the exam on a Tuesday afternoon and they would keep them overnight for no charge and do the surgery on Wed morning. When you ask when would your cats be back to normal, they say , “in about 2 weeks after restricting them as best as possible, they will be back to normal.

—— * ——-

Cat owner had 6 cats laser declawed at Cheektowaga veterinary hospital by this President. None of the cats had any scratching behavioral issues. Most were 3-4 months old, one was around 1 yr old.  Cat owner was asked why they asked this President to declaw all their cats and this cat owner said, “we were young and stupid it was just what we wanted” and “to save the furniture and stuff.”

——— * ———

Cat owner asks to get a 3 month old kitten declawed and Cheektowaga veterinary hospital employee says you would have to get an exam first to see if your kitten was healthy enough for the surgery and up to date on vaccines. They say your kitten would need a rabies and distemper vaccine first before the declaw. They say they do, “laser declaw and we do regular declaw and we really like to combine the declaw and neuter together because you are only having to use sedation once.” They tell you regular declaw/neuter is $501.17 and laser is $560.87. They say that it doesn’t include blood work and EKG prior to the surgery but those are optional and come to about $160 for your kitten. Cat owner asks if their kitten will be ok long term or will they have any complications, they say, “usually you have to use special litter for a couple weeks.”  Cat owner says they were talking about long term issues they say, “unfortunately I don’t have an answer for that. I haven’t seen that.”

——- * ———

Written inquiry and answers. First time cat owner asked to get their 3 month old kitten declawed and neutered and told them that their kitten doesn’t scratch anything yet but they heard that the younger you declaw them, the better and that laser was better.

Cheektowaga veterinary hospital employee tells them the kitten would need a $46 exam first and says, ” the exam prior to surgery verifies your kitten’s health and checks his weight so we can give you as accurate of an estimate, since the pain relieving meds to go home are based on weight. We like to combine the surgeries because it is one stress on the body, and he’s only getting anesthesia once.”

Employee says your kitten needs to be current on vaccines and they say they, “highly recommend blood work because it can pick up on an abnormality not detected on the physical exam.” They say, “your little kitten is not to have regular kitty litter for two full weeks post surgery” and other information for your kitten about the post op instructions.  They will give you a Tuesday exam appointment and Wednesday surgery and say there is no extra charge to leave him overnight.  They say, “We offer that as a courtesy for our clients since the Wed morning check in time may interfere with someone’s work schedule, or prior obligations. He would go home late Friday morning or afternoon.”

—— * ——

Cat owner asks about about getting their 8 month old kitty declawed.  Cheektowaga veterinary hospital employee asks if your kitten is up to date on vaccines and spayed and give you a quote of $420. They say the kitten would have to spend 2 nights and that was included in the price. They stated that a $46 exam must be done first to make sure no illness was present and an EKG for $55 and blood work for $85 would also be done before the declaw. Cat owner asks how much more for a four paw, they tell you $100.

——– * ———

Written inquiry and answers. Cat owner asks to get their 5 month old kitten spayed/declawed.  Cheektowaga veterinary hospital says they need to examine the kitten first prior to surgery.  Cat owner asks about this first exam and what type of questions they will need answered and what type of info will they discuss.  Cheektowaga says the doctors will not do any surgery on a patient that we have not seen at our hospital. This is to ensure your pet’s safety prior to anesthesia. They say that your kitten needs to be up to date on vaccines and ask other questions about FeLV and FIV tests, dewormed, and all other records you have. They highly recommend bloodwork and an EKG before the surgery. They say, “the laser method for surgery is literally a beam of light that cauterizes as it cuts into the skin. It decreases the healing time, decreases pain and decreases bleeding. The traditional method would be a scalpel that makes the incision.”

Then they ask you for your 5 month old kitten, “Did you want an all four declaw or just front?

They tell you the laser front declaw and traditional spay is $784.94 which includes all the things they recommend.  When the cat owner says they are busy and need to do it soon, they tell you that Dr Wylegala would even “open up additional time for surgery” for your kitten and, “we could see your kitten on Tuesday and leave her for surgery for Wednesday, and go home on Friday. There would be no additional fee for boarding. We would schedule your exam appointment with Dr Susan Wylegala on Tuesday. She is our surgeon on Wednesdays.”

They say, “we do want to clarify all costs for you. We originally quoted you a laser front declaw with a traditional spay at $784.94. That didn’t include the $46 exam. The full total would be $830.94 with the exam. If you want a laser all four declaw and laser spay with the exam the total would be $1005.74.

——- * ——–

 I received this note in 2015 from a cat owner who goes to Dr Wylegala’s practice-

Dear City the Kitty,

Yes, my veterinarian offers to declaw my two cats almost every time I have an appointment with them that involves vaccines and now with (cat’s name) spay appointment closing in. But they always offer it up front and as soon as I say “no, I’m firmly against it. Please don’t ask me again.” They act as though it was a mistake to ask me and quickly go about their routine task.

Most of the vets out here in Buffalo, NY are like this as I have called several locations while gathering estimates and setting up the best doctor for my kitties (cat’s name) (4 months old) and (cat’s name) (6 years old).

All I can do is hope and pray that declawing gets banned in New York state soon. Individuals out here don’t realize how much declawing effects their cat, how it’s mostly a money maker for vets, and how declawing should be reserved for a legitimate medical reason.

That’s why I’m so grateful that you and many others on social media are speaking out against declawing in America. I have seen a few cats in my life so far that have had problems with behavior and health issues due to declawing, all in the name of “it was suggested by my vet” or “she started scratching up my furniture, so I knew I had to make the right choice by getting her declawed”.

But when I showed these owners a different alternative they either quickly regretted their decision or was in complete denial because they like to think they can completely trust their vet’s judgment.

Thank you City for speaking out against declawing :3 “

Remember this is just to show you a glimpse of  how this NYSVMS President and her practice address declawing from information that was sent to me and collected.

CheektowagaLaserOct2015website copy

FYI, here are the facts about laser declaw from another veterinarian’s website [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] Facts about laser declaw[/button]

Review on Cheektowaga FB page. Cat owner brings in two rescued kittens that are around 3-4 months old. Cat owner asked to get these kittens declawed/spayed because this owner has birds and doesn’t want the birds scratched through the cages. This cat owner said that, “Bottom line I did not ask for alternatives and if she  (Dr Wylegala) started to discuss them I would have….nicely told her. I did not want to hear. I did not go in to the vet to bargain. I wanted front declaw. Thousands of cats are killed each year every community….that’s such bigger issue for me than a declaw.”

 When asked if Dr Wylegala who declawed this cat owners first cat, or the other vet who declawed this one, counseled her about the humane alternatives, treated it like a last option, or how declawing isn’t good for the health and well-being for this cat owners cat this cat owner said, ” I was the consumer…the owner…was not her call…to lecture or council…I would have let that be known.” She said, “whatever it takes to give the homeless kitties warm lap. I am quite vocal…. thats what I say.

 I did not go in vet to bargain. I wanted front declaw.
When I asked this cat owner this, “Ok, so she didn’t counsel you on the humane alternatives or tell you the risks of declawing and how it’s bad for your kitties health and well being because you knew what you wanted and you were paying her money to do it and it was your cat?” This cat owner said, “Yes.”

When I asked this cat owner this, “You never told me if Dr Sue said anything about negative consequences for your kitties if they were declawed? I know you haven’t seen any but did she tell you anything about how it isn’t good for their health or well being?”

 Cat owner said this, “If she did, i do not recall.. I would have told her to stop …I did not go for a counsel… I knew what I wanted. And I would never believe it was bad for them.”
She also said this, “Currently we have many feral cats in our community which is heart-wrenching. I would rather have kitties declawed than be homeless.”

NYSVMS CheektowagaReview



But thankfully this NYSVMS President also uses her laser for healing procedures as in this photo she posted on Instagram last year.  She personally told me she was removing a tumor from a cat’s paw in the photo after I raised the question of this being a declaw procedure. Unfortunately this photo was removed from her practice’s Instagram page. Hmmm.



Just so you can see, here is the script that the NYSVMS gave to their veterinarians last year to successfully stop our Cat Protection Bill last year.


NYSVMS Script copy

Veterinarians please follow a path that honors your oath and profession. Declawing is inhumane, mutilating, and never necessary.

City the Kitty

PART TWO NEXT. How the NYSVMS officers address declawing. [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] NYSVMS Officers and declawing[/button]