UPDATE MARCH 14, 2021.
The Chief Veterinary Officer with Mission Veterinary Partners sent us a note today and said that they are going to adopt
PLEASE give the folks at MVP a HUGE thank you for truly caring about the welfare of innocent cats and for doing the right thing!
Story published on March 13, 2021.
Information in this story was provided by the rescue that had Elijah up for adoption.
Elijah was just a kitten when he was rescued off the streets.
He was adopted from Forever Friends Foundation rescue in Northeast Ohio. Elijah’s adopter told this rescue that she would not declaw him.
On Oct. 22, 2020, soon after he was adopted, the woman took 5 month old Elijah to an Animal Hospital in Solon, Ohio to have him declawed. (This Animal Hospital’s Facebook About section says, “Progressive techniques performed with gentle loving care.“)
This Animal Hospital is a Mission Veterinary Partner (MVP) clinic. MVP owns 100 vet practices in 15 states, with over 2500 “team members.”
Vet records say, “Routine declaw using surgical laser.” Also, notice how it says, “Diagnosis-Healthy pet.”
A couple days after Elijah’s declaw, he was returned to Forever Friends rescue for being “anti-social.”
Here’s what the foster said, “When we brought him into the vet she was devastated and we could finally see the extent of his injuries, they looked like some random person off the street had taken a pair of scissors and had at his paws. His poor little toe beans had been half cut through and were swollen and extremely infected. It was two weeks of soaking his paws twice a day and putting Ointment on them. He was in so much pain, but not once did he try to bite me or even attempt to “scratch” with his back or his none existent front claws. He would just stare at me with these eyes that said please don’t hurt me. After I would do the soaking and the ointment I would always pick him up like a little baby and we would sit for half an hour for the ointment to soak in, he would just sit there looking at me I’d start to put his head and he would instantly start to purr and he would fall asleep in my arms.”
A couple of his little toes were infected, bleeding, and he had a fever.
Photo on the left shows some dead tissue/scab hanging off.
Both photos show how his digital pads were mutilated and have scabs on them from the declaw.
Elijah refused to stand on his feet and would only take a couple steps and then lay down.
His foster parents were devastated at about this and how his personality changed.
They said he was an outgoing, social, and playful kitten who came back to them after his declaw as a withdrawn and shy cat. The fosters have been working so hard with him to try and gain his confidence back. He tries to play with the other foster kittens in the home but can only do so for a short time and then lays down watching them. He flicks his paws and keeps holding the right paw up they said.
For a foster/rescuer to say he would have been better off left on the street than to endure, this is heartbreaking. But to see an animal you loved and raised to come back like this is soul crushing.
X-rays were done of his feet at that time but there was too much swelling for his new vet to see what was going on. They had to wait almost 3 months and kept him on meds the whole time to combat his pain.
Elijah finally had paw repair surgery on March 3, 2021. The surgeon found a bone fragment in one of his toes and a piece of hard tissue. Here’s a photo.
Elijah is currently recovering from his paw repair surgery at his foster’s home.
We reached out to this Animal Hospital and missionvetpartners.com in March, 2021 to ask them some questions about this veterinarian and his laser declawing technique but never heard back.
We decided to look into how this Animal Hospital addresses declawing with a quick phone call. Our researchers asked for the cost of a spay. The employee asked, “You just want the spay?” Our researcher replied, “What else do people get?” The employee said a declaw.
The employee said a spay/declaw is $668. They use a laser and when asked is that better and why, the employee said, “It doesn’t put pressure on the nail.”
They said that they have three vets and they all do declaws. They said that they do lots of declaws.
When asked is a declaw is ok for a cat the employee said, “It depends on the person.”
Another employee said that their vets do declaws regularly. They said a two paw declaw is $552.38. They said that all their vets do a “phenomenal job” at their declaws. They employee said that laser declaw is much better and more humane because it doesn’t hurt as much and it’s not as rough on the cats.
We wanted to look into how MVP , Mission Veterinary Partners practices address declawing so we did an informal declawing study. We called 12 MVP practices and all of them declaw cats.
We decided to stop at 12 since it was clear that MVP allows declawing in their clinics and it is an easy and good money making procedure in many of them.
Our researchers made a phone call and asked a few questions, for example, what’s the cost of a declaw and if declawing is ok for a cat.
We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer a backlash for their honest answers.
Maplewood Animal Hospital, Muncie, IN. Also an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.
Our researcher asked for the price of a SPAY and the employee asked, “You’re not doing any declawing?” Our researcher asked for the cost of the declaw. The employee asked, “just the front or all four?”
They said that their vet performs declaws “all the time” and several a week.”
When asked if declawing is ok for a cat, they said that they are an AAHA Accredited hospital and they have techs who carefully watch and monitor the cats after their declaws. They said they are fine after a declaw and it’s like any surgery where there is a healing process. They said, “Give us a call if you are interested” in making an appointment for a declaw.
VetMed Veterinary Hospital, Bay City, MI.
A 2 paw declaw/spay is $435. The employee said that their vets do declaws all the time and every day. Our researcher asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term and the employee said yes and, “we wouldn’t offer it if it wasn’t safe for us to do.”
Dunckel Veterinary Hospital, Davison, MI. Also an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.
A declaw is $300-$400. They said that they have two vets who regularly do declaws with a laser. They said that laser is better because it cauterizes and it’s faster healing. Researcher asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat and the employee said yes, but said a lot of clinics are “phasing out declawing.”
Animal Care Clinic Randall Pointe in South Elgin, IL.
Our researcher asked for the price of a SPAY and the employee asked, “Do you want any declawing?” Our researcher asked for the cost of a declaw. The employee asked, “Do you want front or all four?” A spay/4 paw declaw is $593. The employee was asked if declawing is ok for a cat and she said her sister got her 4 cats declawed and they don’t have any issues.
Animal Care Clinic of Fox Valley, Algonquin, IL.
A spay/2 paw declaw is around $600 and it’s an extra $100 for an all four paw declaw. They said that they have three declawing vets and they’ve done them for years. They have some vets who won’t do declaws.
Barrington Square Animal Hospital, Hoffman Estates, IL.
Their Facebook page says, “With over 20 years experience our veterinarians and staff understand the importance of providing the best care possible to your pets. ”
Our researcher asked for the price of a declaw and the employee asked, “Are you talking about the front two or all four?”
An all 4 paw declaw is $593. They said that all of their vets are proficient at declaws and they have been doing them for decades. When asked if declawing is ok for a cat they said that typically the cats seem ok at first but when they get older they may struggle with walking and their motor skills. They said you can use nail trims instead of declawing.
Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Kettering, Ohio. This is an AAFP Silver CAT FRIENDLY Practice and AAHA Accredited Hospital.
A declaw/spay is $900. They said their vet does declaws a lot less frequently lately. The declawing vet is a FEAR FREE Pets veterinarian.
They said they don’t recommend declawing because the cats sometimes develop issues. The employee said they had one of their cats declawed and the cat was not a nice cat after the procedure.
Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, OH.
They said they have two vets who do them and have been for a very long time. They said it’s not a super common procedure that they do anymore. They said the doctor will discuss the pros and cons of a declaw in an appointment.
Care Animal Hospital, Muncie, IN. Also an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.
Their Facebook page says, “Our Mission:To work toward easing animal suffering, maintaining animal well-being, and enhancing the human-animal bond through conscientiousness, integrity and sound veterinary medical principles.”
Our researcher asked for the price of a declaw and the employee asked, “Just the front or all four?” A spay/all 4 paw declaw is $580. They said that their vet does declaws regularly.
Researcher asked if declawing is ok for a cat, the employee said they can be but they often suffer the regular issues from declawing because you are taking the toes off. They said that the cats can get arthritis when they are older.
Grayling Hospital for Animals, Grayling, MI.
A spay/declaw is $339.25. When asked if declawing is ok for a cat the employee said as long as it’s done when the cat is young.
Roscommon Veterinary Clinic, Roscommon, MI. Also an AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.
They said that a declaw/spay is $369 and that their declawing vet does declaws regularly and, “when the occasion arises.”
Morrison Animal Hospital, Garden City, MI.
A spay/declaw is $943-$1064. They said that all three of their vets do declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term, the employee said that it’s up for debate and that some cats are ok, and some “don’t get used to it.”