According to our research, there are 30 veterinary colleges in America. There are 9 that continue to perform declawing in their clinics.
8 of those declawing vet college hospitals are AAHA Accredited Animal Hospitals. (Only Kansas State University’s hospital is not AAHA Accredited.)
Here’s the full story. American Vet Colleges And Declawing
We reached out to all the vet colleges that are still declawing to ask them why they are still performing this animal cruelty.
Washington State University’s animal hospital is an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital that still performs declawing. WSU’s Instagram page says, “WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the nation’s top veterinary schools.”
Really? And they still perform declawing?
WSU says in one of their brochures, “At Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, we are dedicated to improving the lives of animals and people through enhancing health and well-being. WSU has one of the nation’s top veterinary and biomedical colleges, and our distinguished faculty members are recognized as leaders in the field.”
How does declawing improve the life of a cat and enhance their health and well-being? How can their faculty members be leaders in the vet med profession if they still allow this inhumane, antiquated, cruel, and unnecessary amputation procedure?
Here’s what Washington State University veterinary college’s public information officer said in 2019.
(FYI, we reached out to him in July 2021 and he said this information still stands.)
“Declawing cats is not part of our required or elective
curriculum. We do not formally teach the procedure to WSU veterinary
students. We don’t teach it because there is little demand for the
procedure, there is not a competent, repeatable way to teach such a
procedure to 120 senior veterinary students each year, and our
curriculum is very crowded as it is. Shelters we contract with for
spay/neuter-and-return services (done free of charge and the method of
choice we use for teaching surgery), will not allow the procedure to be
done on their animals.
We do offer informal instruction in alternatives to
declawing and how to approach clients on the subject through our course
on Reverence for Life, our Veterinary Communications program, behavioral
services, and our community practice service. We also discuss it
annually in our Veterinary Law and Ethics Club meetings of which I am
the current advisor.
Declawing remains a legal procedure in the state of
Washington. WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital is a fee-for-service
facility open to the public. On rare occasion (~< 1 in 3-4,000 total
cases annually) we are asked to perform the procedure. Those cases may
or may not involve senior veterinary students working alongside our
clinical faculty. In total, there have been three such procedures done
in our hospital in the last full year of operation. One could argue
that a student who chooses to scrub in on a declaw procedure learns
something about the procedure but that is voluntary on their part.
We reserve the right to allow our clinical veterinarians
to choose whether or not they want to perform legally approved
procedures based upon their professional judgement and the situation
presented by the client, exclusively.
Thank you for your concern.
Charlie Powell, Public Information Officer, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine”
In 2019 we wrote him back and said, “Just fyi, an employee who books the procedures at your hospital says that it is cheaper to combine the spay with the declaw but they also say that they do declaws as a last resort at your vet hospital.”
His response was, “I wouldn’t say we do declaws as a “last resort” but I do not dispute that someone at our switchboard may have said that. I would say we do them on a case-by-case basis as I previously described.”
In July 2021, we wrote Charlie back and told him that surgery to address a normal feline behavior is an inappropriate choice. Behavior issues should see behaviorists.
We asked him if WSU isn’t confident enough in WSU’s behavior department to handle simple cat scratching.
We offered to put him in touch with some behaviorists and ethical, no declaw vets who could help them with any scratching issues.