Story published on November 7, 2022.
Veterinary United says, “We are healers first and foremost” on their website. https://veterinaryunited.com/
Here are a few more things that Veterinary United says on their website. “At Vet United, we’re more than a group of practices—we’re a family, and our values are the driving force behind every decision we make. At the core of these values is a strong focus on what’s best for you, your team, and your practice.”
“As a vet-owned and vet-centric company, we are committed to empowering you to deliver the best care for your patients by providing the support and resources you need to grow your practice and team.”
“Our values drive each team member to champion empowerment, collaboration, and putting people and pets before the bottom line.”
(We reached out to Veterinary United on October 12, 2022 on Instagram, Facebook, and emails and asked if they have a position on declawing and a few other questions about this issue. We have not heard back from them.)
We also gave them the list of all the veterinary companies that have banned declawing: VCA, Banfield, American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), Fear Free Pets, and Mission Veterinary Partners, Petco Vetco, Petsmart, and Bond Vet.
Veterinary United’s Chief Medical and Well Being officer is Dr Phillip Richmond. He is the Founder and CEO of https://flourishingphoenix.com/ , a company that is all about veterinary well being. He is a big advocate of working to reduce the stress for veterinary professionals and is a member/advisor of several national committees for workplace suicide prevention and veterinary well being.
Not only does declawing harm the long term health and well being of cats but our research shows that it also is very bad for the mental health and well being of many veterinarians, veterinary professionals, AND cat owners.
Banning declawing in Veterinary United’s clinics would be a positive step for cats, veterinarians, veterinary professionals, and cat owners.
Here’s more about our story about how declawing is a contributing factor in moral stress in the veterinary profession. Declawing is causing moral stress in the veterinary professionDeclawing and moral stress
Please take 60 seconds and sign our petition to Veterinary United. Veterinary United Petition
We did a small survey random survey of some of the 18 Veterinary United practices in Michigan.
Our researchers made a short phone call and asked how much they charge for a declaw, if they do them regularly, and if declawing is ok long term for a cat.
We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer a backlash for their honest answers.
1) Parkway Small Animal Hospital and Exotic Hospital, Clinton Township, MI. Parkway’s Facebook page
This is the vet clinic that is owned by the CEO of Veterinary United, Dr Thomas Bankstahl.
The employee said that a neuter/declaw is around $600-$700. Researcher asked which doctor is a surgeon who does the declaw and the employee said, “All of our doctors do surgeries and they are all aware of how to go about that.”
Researcher asked if all the vets do the declaws and the employee said yes.
Researcher asked if the cats are ok long term after a declaw and the employee said yes.
2) A Care Animal Clinic. Troy, MI A Care Animal Wellness Facebook page
The declaw has to be approved by their doctor and you have to get an exam before you get a cost for a declaw.
3) Bell Veterinary Clinic, Metamora, MI. (An AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.)
Employee said that you have to have a consultation with Dr Corino first and go through every option and the doctor will determine if they will still do the declaw. They can do the declaw with a laser at their Oxford location.
4) Bell Veterinary Clinic, Oxford, MI. (An AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.) Bell Vet Facebook page
They said that they like to try other options first before a declaw but a neuter/declaw is around $600-700. They said that they only have one vet, Dr Corino, who does the declaws on Wednesdays with a laser.
5) Adrian Animal Clinic. Adrian, MI. Adrian Animal Clinic’s Facebook page
A declaw is $160. They said that Dr Romain does the declaws. When asked if the cats are ok after a declaw, they said yes. When asked if the cats have any issues after a declaw they say, “We haven’t had any.”
6) Berkley Animal Clinic, Berkley, MI.
They don’t do declaws. The employee said that a declaw is not exactly the most humane thing to do and that’s why they don’t do them. They said that there are other options and talked about nail caps.
7) Howell Veterinary Care Center, Richmond, MI.
Their voice recording says they provide exceptional care for your exceptional pet.
The employee said that a neuter/declaw is between $600-$800. They said that they only have one doctor who does the declaws, Dr Kuipers, and the other doctor doesn’t want to do them. The employee said, “The doctors can opt out if they don’t want to do it, if it’s inhumane.”
They said that it is the doctor’s choice to not do the 2 paw declaw if they feel it is inhumane.
The researcher asked, “So one doctor feels it’s inhumane and the other doesn’t?” The employee said, “Correct.”
When asked if a declaw is inhumane the employee said that would be a question to the doctor, Dr Kuipers.
Dr Richmond is the doctor who doesn’t want to do declaws. Researcher asked if a declaw is ok for a cat. Employee said you would have to discuss that with a doctor to go over the pros and cons of a declaw.
8) Macomb Center Veterinary Hospital, Macomb Township, MI.
Employee said that a neuter/declaw is around $500-$700. They said that Dr Kuipers does their declaws. Researcher asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term and they said that it kind of depends. They said that there can be some pain afterwards but it’s rare and it depends on how heavy the cat is since they put pressure on that area and it’s a little bit more painful. They said that generally they see their declaws do well. Researcher asked if Dr Kuiper does them regularly and the employee said, “Yes, he tries to do only front two if possible unless there is a medical reason and someone is on blood thinners then he will do all 4.”
9) Nucci Veterinary Clinic, St Clair Shores, MI. (An AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital.)
Employee said a neuter/declaw is around $250. They said that for now they can’t fit in anymore neuter/declaws because they are too busy. Researcher asked if the cats are ok after their declaws. Employee said yes, they usually stay over night with pressure bandages and they come off in the morning and they have to be careful for the next couple weeks so they aren’t jumping on or off anything because it might “pop open the toes.”
The employee said generally the cats are just fine.
10) Miller Animal Clinic, Lansing, MI.
Employee said that a neuter is $93.50 and a declaw is $165. They said that all 4 of their vets do declaws. Researcher asked if their vets do declaws regularly and they said yes. When asked if the cats are ok long term from a declaw the employee said that they wouldn’t personally do a declaw but said long term they are ok.
11) Long Lake Animal Hospital, Troy, MI.
Employee said that a neuter/declaw is $522-$943. They said that Dr Kunic does their declaws. Researcher asked if the cats are ok long term after a declaw and employee said, “We don’t recommend declawing.”
They said Dr Kunic would go over all the other options before declawing. They said that a declaw does cause some health issues long term and said it can give them arthritis in their paws, can cause infections later on in life, and behavioral issues.
12) Affordable Veterinary Care Center. Clinton Township, MI
Employee said that they declaw for a medical reason for the cat or to prevent a cat scratch for someone on blood thinners. They said that Dr Cummings does their declaws.
13) Nichols Veterinary Clinic. Wayne, MI.
Researcher asked which doctor does their declaws. Employee said that Dr Gumpper is no longer seeing patients but he only does their surgeries and the neuter and declaw will be done the same day. Researcher asked if the cats are ok long term after a declaw and the employee said they can’t answer that since they aren’t a doctor.
Researcher asked if Dr Gumpper does declaws regularly and the employee said yes. They couldn’t give an estimate for the declaw on the phone.
Please go to City the Kitty’s website and sign all our petitions. Your voices make a difference and you don’t have to donate to change.org to sign them. City the Kitty’s petitions to end declawing