The Animal Humane Society in MN says they are one of the nation’s leading animal welfare organizations. We agree that they do great work to help animals.
Unfortunately in the Animal Humane Society’s declawing position statement they say they are opposed to cat declawing yet at the end of it, they condone it for the antiquated death/relinquishment last resort excuse.
Please sign our petition to the Animal Humane Society. Animal Humane Society Petition
As you can see in this recent facebook post, cat owners in MN and America look to humane societies for advice about declawing. The woman who asked if it’s wrong to declaw a kitten didn’t learn from AHS’s declawing position statement that it is a very mutilating amputation procedure that causes negative issues to a cat’s health and well being. She didn’t learn anything about how declawing is really bad for a cat.
AHS said they had 23 million page views on their website in 2020.
As far as we know, the Animal Humane Society is the only humane society in America that condones declawing in their position statement. They also do not have a no-declaw cat adoption contract so people can adopt a cat from the AHS and take the cat to one of the local declawing vet clinics to have them declawed.
AHS has a confusing declawing position statement.
At the start of their statement they say AHS opposes the declawing of cats and at the end of it they say, “When destructive behavior cannot be modified, Animal Humane Society believes that declawing, as a last resort, is preferable to abandonment, euthanasia or relinquishing ownership of a cat. We advocate that people make an informed decision about declawing in consultation with their veterinarian.” Here’s AHS declawing position. AHS Declawing Position Statement
AHS also doesn’t have anything on it that says how it’s an inhumane amputation procedure that causes long term negative consequences to a cat’s health and well being.
AHS has a canine debarking, tail docking, and ear cropping position statement and they explain how the procedures are done and they don’t condone debarking as a last resort and they don’t say that debarking is preferable to abandonment, euthanasia, or relinquishment of a dog. AHS Debarking Position Statement
We reached out to AHS in 2020 and educated them about the latest info on declawing and asked why they condone this animal cruelty and their communications director, Paul Sorenson, wrote us back. and said, “Animal Humane Society strongly opposes any unnecessary surgical procedures performed for purely cosmetic or convenience reasons, that provide no health benefit or subject the animal to unnecessary pain or health risks. That includes declawing cats.”
He went on to say, “… our current position statement acknowledges that in some rare cases – when all else fails and destructive behavior cannot be managed – some pet parents turn to declawing as a last resort. If pet parents reach this point, we want them to understand the potential negative consequences of declawing and make an informed decision in consultation with their veterinarian before pursuing the surgery. If there are truly no other options, we believe that declawing – as a last resort – is preferable to abandonment, euthanasia, or surrender. We work hard to ensure that pet parents in our community are never faced with that decision.”
The communications director’s full response is at the end of this story.
The Animal Humane Society does not declaw cats in their own vet clinics.
The Animal Humane Society uses 6 veterinary partners.
4 of these clinics declaw cats.
Is the Animal Humane Society afraid to upset these declawing vet partners who help their organization by completely condemning declawing? Did a declawing vet from one of these 4 clinics write up the Animal Humane Society’s declawing position statement?
We reached out to all of these AHS partner clinics and asked them some questions about why they declaw cats and if they helped write up AHS’s declawing position statement and only one got back with us.
TLC Veterinary Hospital’s manager said, “At this time, we are unable to help you with your story. We do not provide declawing services to/for the AHS nor did our vets participate in creating the AHS position statement regarding declawing.”
(TLC is one of the declawing clinics that provides this service to the public.)
Here’s what our researchers found with a quick call to ask for a cost of a declaw, if declawing is ok long term for a cat, and which vets do the declaws.
Como Park Animal Hospital, St. Paul. AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital Link to Como Park Surgery page
The employee asked if they wanted just the front paws vs all four. 2 paw declaw is around $600-700. A four paw declaw is around $40 more than the 2 paw declaw. All their doctors do laser declaws. They said there is never a guarantee if the cats are ok long term and there can be complications with any declaw procedure, especially an older patient. The employee said that they do declaws, “very routinely.” They said generally the cats are ok but every patient is different since it is an amputation of the first portion of the digit and that involves nerve pain and other complications.
Grand Avenue Veterinary Center, St. Paul. AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital, Fear Free Professionals. Link to Grand Avenue surgery page
A neuter/declaw is $572.99. They said that any of their doctors can do a declaw. When asked if declawing is ok for a cat long term they said that there can be some litter box issues and the younger ones bounce back from the procedure better than the older ones.
TLC Veterinary Hospital, Oakdale, MN.
A neuter/declaw is $630.50. They have two doctors who do the declaws. Typically they don’t recommend declawing but they can see why some people opt do to them. They said the cats can have issues of arthritis in their paws and issues with the litter box from the pain that’s associated with declawing. They said that they only do the two front paw declaws. They said that they don’t have many people asking for declaws any more so they only do a handful each year. When asked if they do a declaw for a 1 1/2 year old cat they said that they try not to do declaws on an older cat but it depends on the cat’s weight and you need an exam before the declaw.
North St. Paul Animal Hospital. AAHA Accredited Animal Hospital
They said that they don’t do declaws often and you need an exam first to get a price quote.
Here are the two no-declaw veterinary partners for the Animal Humane Society.
Carver Lake Veterinary Center, Woodbury, MN
Hudson Road Animal Hospital, Woodbury, MN
They said that declawing is not good for cats, it’s harmful long term, and they recommend trimming the cat’s nails.
The Animal Humane Society has shelter and rescue partners.
Here are some of the declawing positions from these partners.
Blue Earth Humane Society
“We do have a strong declaw position statement in our contract. We offer nail caps application for free for those who feel inclined to declaw. Our area vets know we are intolerant of the declaw process.”
2020 note from the Animal Humane Society’s director of communications. We have reached out to them since this note and asked many of these important questions but didn’t get a reply.
“We share your passion for protecting animals from harm. Animal Humane Society strongly opposes any unnecessary surgical procedures performed for purely cosmetic or convenience reasons, that provide no health benefit or subject the animal to unnecessary pain or health risks. That includes declawing cats.
Animal Humane Society is a local nonprofit organization that provides adoption and other services to support people and pets in Minnesota. Although we’re not a national advocacy organization, we have adopted position statements that help the community understand the principles that guide our work.
Over the years, as the veterinary community has learned more about how declawing impacts the health and welfare of cats, we’ve taken a stronger position in firm opposition to the practice – and that opposition is reflected in our daily work.
As an animal shelter, we take in, care for, and find loving homes for more than 8,000 homeless cats and kittens every year. We do not declaw cats in our shelters or clinics, and we work to educate adopters and pet parents about the pain and other negative effects that declawing can cause. We also provide adopters and pet parents in our community with alternative resources to manage scratching in the safest and least destructive way possible.
That said, our current position statement acknowledges that in some rare cases – when all else fails and destructive behavior cannot be managed – some pet parents turn to declawing as a last resort. If pet parents reach this point, we want them to understand the potential negative consequences of declawing and make an informed decision in consultation with their veterinarian before pursuing the surgery. If there are truly no other options, we believe that declawing – as a last resort – is preferable to abandonment, euthanasia, or surrender. We work hard to ensure that pet parents in our community are never faced with that decision.
Although our position may not be as absolute as yours, we are aligned in our opposition to declawing. We appreciate your work on behalf of cats and will consider the information you’ve shared with us – along with our firsthand experience and the expertise of other trusted animal experts – as we periodically evaluate and update our position statements.
Director of Marketing and Communications