As most of you know, the New York State Veterinary Medical Society (NYSVMS) , Long Island Medical Association (LIVMA), and other New York vet associations successfully stopped our Cat Protection Bill in that state. That bill would have banned the inhumane practice of declawing if it had passed.

The President of the NYSVMS, Dr Susan Wylegala, said our bill was “detrimental to animals” and fooled enough Senators that our bill was a threat to one of their coveted and common procedures, declawing.


After they stopped our declawing bill they said in boastful email to their 5000 members, “NYSVMS will always defend the licensed veterinarian’s right to make medical treatment decisions that are in the best interests of their patients.” [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] NYSVMS smugly boasted their victory over the NY declawing bill[/button]

The President of the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association, Dr Nicole Paccione-Gerbe, told her vet members that declawing was a “medical procedure” and asked all of her veterinarian members to call the NY legislators and even if they are against declawing, to go against their convictions and help stop our bill. She also used fear mongering to say, “If we fail to act, what other restrictions on the care of our patients will we face in the future?”
First of all, declawing is NOT a medical procedure. It is an elective, non-therapeutic mutilation procedure. And second, scaring her vets to be worried that other “medical procedures” will be taken away, and relating it to this bill that would have stopped this unnecessary cruelty and torture,  is quite appalling.
Declawing has zero benefit to a cat, always harms it short term AND long term, and there are ALWAYS humane options to this inhumane procedure.

  Speaking of humane options. Well these veterinary association leaders and vet associations say that they counsel clients about declawing and offer the humane alternatives…blah blah blah. They talk a great talk, but most don’t walk the talk.

Here is an example how these leaders personally address declawing at their practices if you haven’t already read about it. [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] 2 Paw, 4 Paw, Laser or Traditional $66 a toe amputation[/button]


I was informed about a comment the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association made on their facebook page. This person was trying to give LIVMA suggestions about the humane alternatives to declawing. Here is the post. (which they deleted a short time after they posted it)


Nice politically correct words by the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association. Also, here is a study that shows the the “number of declaws in the last decade” has NOT dropped as they say. [button href=”” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Medically Unnecessary Procedures Study[/button]

When first time cat owners call the veterinary practice where the President of the LIVMA works, and ask about info and prices about getting their cat declawed, they tell you that Dr Paccione-Gerbe uses the scalpel to amputate kitty toes and the charge is $380 for two paws.

There is no mention of soft paws or alternatives,  just options for making appointments for the exam and the day she does those surgeries. When these cat owners asked if there are any negative consequences to declawing, the nice people at her practice reassure “kitty cat” owners that Dr Paccione has been out of vet school for 10 yrs and not to worry and say that she hasn’t had any issues with her declaws. They tell you your kitty gets to stay two nights at the hospital and they put bandages on their sore feet to protect them.

BORDERSo I hired my independent feline research team to investigate this situation.

Both of these President’s practices are very accommodating to easily make an appointment to get your kittens or cats declawed. They have the prices for the declaw procedures readily available and are happy to make your declaw appointment.

I thought if it’s that easy to get your kitty declawed then surely they practice what they preach and it would be very easy and affordable to have someone at these two practices simply apply nail caps/soft paws.

The research team called these two President’s practices and asked if they offer soft paws/nail cap application services and how much they charge to put them on their cat’s nails.

The calls were all made within one week and the information that was collected is in chronological order. I wanted my researchers to keep the study going and call on different days until they got confirmation that a cat owner could come in and get Soft Paws put on their cat’s nails.

After all, it should be a service that is provided by EVERY veterinary practice in America. But the problem is that it isn’t a good money maker and is only a service that would benefit the cat so that it doesn’t get the inhumane alternative which is to have its toe bones and claws amputated.

I would say that I’m happy about this study since it shows that at the start, both practices said that it is not a service that they do or have available. This was very concerning since it seems like it would be much easier to have a vet tech apply these nail caps than to get a surgical team ready to do a declaw. After all, it should have been something that their employees offer people who call up and ask to get their cats declawed. Seems like this would be a humane alternative that would show that at least these two veterinary association “leaders” practice what they preach and “work hard to to give cat owners advice and choices.”

My researchers inspired these vet practices to at least have a Soft Paw application service available as a humane option and they now have their price information for clients that call them.

I know it’s wishful thinking, but maybe they will say to cat owners who call them and ask them to get their cat’s toes and claws amputated, “Have you tried using soft paws? We are happy to apply them to your cat’s nails and see if that works instead of the declaw.”

I also had my feline research team ask around to see what the no-declaw vets charge to apply the soft paws and most of them require clients to bring them in themselves and the rate to apply them is $10 for two paws.

Study 1. The President of the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association works at Bayport Village Animal Health Center.

Call 1- They don’t have nail caps or soft paws nor do they offer to put them on.

Call 2- They don’t have nail caps, there is no price in their computer for that, they would have to get back to the researcher, also, they do not have the glue that goes with the nail caps. They will trim your cat’s nails.

Call 3- Employee put researcher on hold and checked with the doctor. They said that they would charge for an office exam if you are a first time client since they would be trimming the nails to apply the soft paws on. You would have to buy your own Soft Paws and bring them in. The office visit is $57. After that if they needed to be applied again then they would just charge for the nail trim which is $15 and they wouldn’t charge to put them on. They said they stopped carrying the soft paws since they didn’t have much of a cause to carry them and they weren’t selling them.

This practice charges $1.50 per toe to apply a nail cap and Dr Paccione charges $38 per toe to amputate them. (Not laser declaw) 

The President of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society owns her practice,  Cheektowaga Veterinary Animal Hospital. Here is more info on how she addresses declawing at her practice. [button href=”” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] NYSVMS President and declawing[/button]

CAll 1- Employee “C”- “We don’t offer soft paws.” Researcher asked if they have an alternative and they said no. Researcher asked if they brought in their own nail caps would they apply them and they said no.

Call 2- Employee “K”- “We don’t have nail caps or soft paws available.”  Researcher asked if they knew anybody else that would help them put them on and they said they don’t think there is anyone around that could help put them on. Researcher asked if they brought them in, would they apply them, they said if my cat has never been seen, they would have to see her vaccination records and have an exam for $47 and THEN discuss putting nail caps on because they don’t put nail caps on there.

Call 3- Employee “K2”-  “We don’t have a set fee for that. We would have to see your cat and do an annual exam and make sure all the vaccinations are up to date.”  Researcher asked how much the cost would be to apply the soft paws. (Employee put the researcher on a long hold and came back) “I will have to get back with you because it’s not something we have a set price for and I will have to get with the owner of the practice (Dr Susan Wylegala) and she’s with a client now.” Researcher said to the employee that it sounds like they don’t do them since they don’t have a set price and employee said, “no we don’t.”

Call 4- Employee said,  “I’m not sure this is not something we do but I could put you on hold and check with the doctor.” (Researcher was put on a long hold) Unfortunately I will have to ask the doctor because it’s not something we typically do and she is not in.”  Researcher asked if it is something they would do. Employee said , “I was told we had a vet tech that did it once upon a time but she is no longer works her so I’m not sure if any of the staff here know how to do it or can so I’d have to talk with the doctor to see if it something we could do for you and what the charges would be.”

Call 5 – Employee asked do you want 2 paws or all 4 paws. They said if it is a cat that they haven’t seen then they would have to do a $47 exam and to put Soft Paws on the front paws then it is $40. If you want them put on all four paws that would be $65. You would have to purchase your own Soft Paws and bring them in since they don’t carry them.

So the President of the NYSVMS’s practice charges $4 per toe to to apply a nail cap or $66 per toe to amputate them.

And last but not least. Most veterinarians that declaw cats say they do it as a last resort and counsel clients but this is far from the truth. Why don’t they have information on their websites about declawing so that clients will at least know the facts? It’s a simple thing that these “leaders” of the veterinary associations could do but they don’t.VO1 VO2


Please don’t threaten any of these “doctors.” We must do the right thing and take the high road and be respectful.  It is wrong to threaten them in any way plus they will twist things around and play the victim. We know that the only victims are all the kitties that are being unnecessarily and cruelly declawed. We MUST continue to shine light on this cause and share all of these stories so that we show the truth about what is going on. We MUST continue to educate cat owners who are being deceived by their pro-declaw vets and who are NOT being told about how declawing is amputations and not good for the health and well being of their cats, how it is inhumane and very painful, and how there are humane alternatives that they can use instead of declawing.