Safari Animal Care Centers In Texas Declaws Raccoons On All Four Paws-City The Kitty


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Declawing Raccoons: The Truth Unmasked

August 14, 2018

These are photos of a declawed raccoon that were posted on Instagram on July 26, 2018. The location was tagged “Safari Animal Care Centers” in League, Texas.

The purpose of this story is to educate the public about why they shouldn’t own a pet raccoon and also why they shouldn’t declaw them.

The founder and chief of staff of this veterinary practice, Safari Animal Care Centers, is Dr Steven Dale Garner. He’s a 37 year member of the AVMA.

According to his staff, he declaws many cats and many raccoons at Safari Animal Care Center. He is the only Board Certified Veterinarian in Galveston County, Texas. He is an accomplished leader in the veterinary profession. Dr. Garner also has been recognized as a member of the AAHA Standards Enhancement Task Force.

More about his accomplishments here. Dr Steven Garner’s accomplishments

Just to confirm that Safari Animal Care Center declaws raccoons, we placed a few calls inquiring about it.

When a person called Safari Animal Care Center to inquire about declawing a raccoon, the employee said they can do that and said they actually did a declaw on a raccoon the day before. The person asked if it’s ok to declaw a raccoon and the employee said, “With everything, some people might not agree, but if you want to home one and make it your baby, it’s ok.”

According to the employee, their raccoon declaw prices are as follows:  $405 for the front paws and $600 for an all four paw declaw. They said the doctor uses a laser and that it is less pain and less bleeding.

Another employee, when asked about getting a raccoon declawed and if their vet is skilled at the procedure, said that they do 2-3 raccoon declaws a week.

A vet tech, who said that they assist Dr Garner with the raccoon declaws, was put on the phone to explain some questions the caller had. The vet tech was asked if it is true that they do 2-3 raccoon declaws a week and the vet tech laughed and said that they do “quite a few.”

The vet tech said that some people think it’s like declawing a cat but that it’s not and said it’s like a removing a nail from a human finger that has soft padding under the nail.

The caller said that they were confused because they saw online photos of a skeleton of a raccoon paw and it looked like the claw was attached to the bone. The vet tech went online while the phone call was taking place and was adamant that raccoon claws are not attached to bone and said that they must have glued them to the skeleton in the photo.

The caller asked if it was harmful to declaw a raccoon and the vet tech said it’s not something they highly recommend but a lot of people who have them as pets don’t want to get “torn up.”

Another phone call was made to try to get an answer about the raccoon claw being attached to the bone from Dr Garner, but he wasn’t in the office. The employee asked Dr Garner’s wife, who is also a vet but doesn’t practice at Safari, and she conveyed this information to the employee to tell the caller. She said that they have to get in to get the root of the claw and that a little bit of the bone might be removed.

We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer a backlash for their honest answers.

More facts about raccoons. Raccoon facts

A check in the area of veterinary practices that treat exotic pets revealed that none of them will perform a declaw on a raccoon.

A vet at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston said that it’s not recommended to have raccoons as pets or to declaw them because it’s not humane and they don’t have retractable claws so it’s like cutting off the tips of their fingers. When asked if they declaw cats there, the doctor said they only perform tendonectomies on cats.

Another hospital that treats exotics, Westgate Pet and Bird Hospital (AAHA hospital) in Austin said that raccoons don’t have retractable claws so declawing them is taking out their whole nail bed and it would be like they were walking on “nubs.”  They declaw cats and ask if you want all four or two paws when a researcher called to check on their declaw fees.

Animal Kingdom Pet Hospital in League City said that raccoons are wildlife and they don’t declaw them. They declaw cats.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

I reached out to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County to get some facts about declawing a raccoon and here is their response.

1) Keeping raccoons as pets is a horrible idea, and 2. Removing the claws of a raccoon is an equally horrible idea.

The claws of raccoons are permanently exposed (as in dogs and many other mammals), which is completely different from the situation in cats, where the claws are retractile. The claws are attached to and cover the very last bone of the fingers and toes (called the distal phalanx).. Removing the claw involves removing the bone—so it’s not just de-clawing the animal, it’s de-boning the animal.

The same is true for cats, but that last bone in cats is smaller and more slender than it is in a raccoon. It is not a trivial thing to remove those claws and bones in cats, and it’s certainly a pretty big deal to do it to a raccoon. Painful, yes. Potential for nerve damage, yes.

And if the raccoon is ever released back into the wild (for example, if the owner later decides it was a bad idea to have a pet raccoon), that released animal would be at a supreme disadvantage in the wild (they have claws for many reasons, including protection, foraging, etc.).

Jim Dines, Ph.D. Mammalogy Section, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Here’s a photo of the same raccoon after the 4 paw laser declaw with possible signs of damage to the paw pads from burning off the raccoon’s toe bones and claws.


“Ethical Standards For Safari

The Safari Code of Ethics sets the stage for how we “Ought” to behave. They provide a frame of reference for decision making as we care for your loved ones. This Standard includes many Ideals that we strive to achieve in our personal and professional life. Including, “Do No Harm”, “Respect All Life” , “Always Do What Is Best For The Pet”, and many others.”

Another motto they use is, “We Never Say No.” “We Never Say No”

Dr Garner also declaws cats, he uses a CO2 laser and an employee at Safari Animal Care Center said that they do cat declaws regularly. When a caller asks for the price of a declaw they ask, “Front or all four?”

The employee said that a front declaw is $500 and that they think an all four paw declaw is around $900. When asked who is best at the declaws, employee said Dr Garner is the one who does their declaws and that he is the only Board Certified vet in Galveston County. The employee said that they use the same anesthesia that Texas Children’s Hospital uses. Employee also said that Dr Garner recently declawed their cat and it’s all healed up after two weeks.

We reached out to Dr Garner to see if we could get some facts about declawing a raccoon from this expert.

August 11, 2018

Dear Dr Garner,

I wanted to get your input on how a raccoon is declawed since you are a board certified doctor and your staff said you do raccoon declaws often and to reach out to you this way.  I figured you are the expert and can give me the facts.

I know that declawing a cat is removing the claw and the bone it is attached to, so I was wondering if it is the same for declawing a raccoon or do you just remove the claw with your laser?

Is there any harm to declawing a raccoon? Does it hurt them in anyway long-term and what is the recovery time. Is there any reason it shouldn’t be done? How would one decide what’s best, 2 vs 4 paws?

I’ve heard declawing changes a cat’s behavior, will it affect a raccoon negatively too in anyway?

Thanks so much,


His response,

August 13, 2018


Just to be clear, I do not recommend the ownership of Raccoons.  In Texas I believe it is considered illegal to own such wildlife.  My veterinary position is that if people are going to own these pets against our recommendations – then and only then – will we provide veterinary care. They need someone who understands their nutrition and physical needs.   When a raccoon has been taken from the wild and reared in the home, it is difficult for them to return to the wild – ever.  This is because they have not developed the wild instincts to forage for their food and to be warily of their enemies.  Raccoons in captivity are always a problem however as they become aggressive (as interpreted by humans) and this aggression is difficult for most humans to manage.

Declawing is not recommended as it permanently changes a raccoons behavior.

Declawing cats was once common but is now frowned on and illegal in most other countries and some states.  If declawing is done it should be done to minimize pain, trauma, and to prevent the claws from growing back.  Surgical laser is one way to accomplish this.  Declawing a raccoon is no different except a raccoon is not a domestic animal.

Please leave the wildlife wild.

Best Regards,

Dr. Garner



⌒ ⌒

Steven D. Garner DVM, DABVP
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
Chief of Staff: Safari Animal Care Centers
Safari Knowledge Systems, LLC

August 13, 2018

Dr Garner,

Ok, Thanks for the note. So just to be clear since I was confused. When you declaw a raccoon, you use a laser and are you taking off just the claw or the last bone with the claw?

Also, if someone was going to do it, what are the pros and cons to a 2 paw or 4 paw? What do you suggest and will there be a need to give pain meds to them for a few days when they are brought home?

How does declawing change a raccoons behavior?



I suspect your motives are not above board here.  There is a real moral and ethical dilemma when an uninformed person takes on an animal such as a raccoon from the wild and rears it in the home.  There becomes a real time when euthanasia is measured against declaw.  You know more about declaws than most on the planet and I do not appreciate your coyness about the gravity of declawing a wild animal.

Have a nice day.

Dr. Garner

Dr Garner, touts all his accomplishments on his website. The history of Safari  Some of the info on the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners website says this, “ABVP Certification sets you apart – among the most ambitious, forward-thinking professionals in veterinary care, driven by a commitment to the wellbeing of animal and those who care for them.The ABVP board certified veterinarian has demonstrated they are capable of providing a level of clinical practice that is clearly superior to the norm of the profession. ”

Link to the ABVP page ABVP website

Here’s another screenshot from

Here is a screenshot from that talks about surgery for exotics.

Here’s a page saying that Safari Animal Care Center is a Fear Free Practice.(This Practice is NOT an officical Fear Free Certified veterinary practice)







Mao Kitty-Mutilated Paw-She Limps Because A ‘Professional’ Was Greedy-Declawing Is Animal Abuse


#Repost @alaskaskaaats with @get_repost
We have met many cats over the years and each one of them has tugged on our heart strings for different reasons. Last year we met Mao. Thankfully Mao found a loving home after being at the shelter for over 77 days! That’s right she sat there patiently for 77 days! Thanks to the dedication of advocates who not only spent time with her daily, but for being her voice after what she had endured, she had a comfortable time while staying at the shelter. Her story may break your heart as it did ours, the second we met her. The first day MAO was on the adoption floor she was so terrified, but her eyes were so trusting. When we stepped in to visit with her, we saw that one of her paws were mangled. Why was her paw mangled? Due to a botched declawing surgery (which may have been done several times in attempts to repair the damage). When she walked she had a little limp and that just made our hearts ache. This most PURRecious and beautiful girl had this surgery done (we don’t know the reasons and honestly we don’t want to). Unfortunately the damage is done and now she is the one who has to have this affect her for the rest of her life. We cannot express enough how inhumane declawing is to a cat. The amount of damage that can occur and the potential for behaviors to develop are much higher when you subject a precious cat to such a barbaric and unnecessary surgery. There are other ways to help your cat redirect their scratching if that is the behavior of concern. Despite what has happened to MAO, she is the most loving, trusting soul that just wants to snuggle up by your side. She immediately came to us, would lay down right next to you or on you with one of her paws, even showing you the one that is damaged. Our hearts just ache when we think about what she has been through and is still a most remarkable sweet kitty girl. We must put a STOP to this! Please see our Humane Alternatives Brochure.

#alaskaskaaats #catsof907 #catsofalaska #eduCATe #advoCATe #betheirvoice #pawsneedclaws #sheltercat #barbaric #inhumane #catlover #instacat #catsagram #catsofinstagram7E6880D3-A975-4CF6-8B14-B7DE498845CC

Declawed Dogs-How Can Veterinarians Declaw Any Animal? Who Regulates The Vet Industry??



By CassandraCat | Posted May 7, 2015

Here is something that you have to see to believe…a declawed dog! Paisley’s story starts 8 years ago when she was adopted from a humane society in Indiana. She was adopted by a woman who worked at a vet clinic. That clinic got in a new laser declawing machine and the woman wanted to “try it out” on poor Paisley. On that fateful day, Paisley was then cruelly 4-paw declawed. The woman did not like to hear the clicking sound Paisley made on the tile floor.

Then, this past May, Paisley found herself in a predicament. You see, Paisley and chickens aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. The owner got sick of Paisley chasing her chickens, and decided to have Paisley euthanized. Luckily a coworker stepped in who contacted a rescuer, who contacted another rescuer, who took Paisley in.

Paisley is just an angel of a dog! She gets along with all people and greets strangers enthusiastically, with a smile and a tail wag. She certainly does not hold a grudge, despite having ample reason to. Paisley seems to ignore most dogs, she’d probably be happiest as an only dog, but may do well with a calm male. She’s even good with cats! Paisley just turned 9 in June but that doesn’t slow her down. She is not overly energetic, but she still loves a good play session. Paisley is non-destructive and housebroken.

Paisley is also on medication for hypothyroidism. She takes her pills without problem in a piece of cheese. She is fully vetted and has medical records dating back to 2000.

Paisley is located in Lafayette, IN.

Please contact Karla at if interested in adopting Paisley.

Vet Tech Said Old Dull Nail Clippers Used To Declaw Cat-Fur Rips Off With Bandages

City the Kitty Advocate for Animals
Page Liked · 1 hr ·

Most cat owners who declaw their cats see cute photos of their kitties like this after they’ve barbarically had their toe bones amputated.
In the comment section is a GRAPHIC photo of what often happens after they unwrap the bandages. (photo of kitties isn’t related to the photo that the vet tech sent me)
The world needs to see the truth about what is being done to around 10 million cats a YEAR in America by unethical declawing vets.
Here is the sad note I received from a vet tech last week.
Dear City,
I have been a vet tech for many years. For the past several years I have refused to participate in the declawing of cats. However, in the animal hospital I most recently worked for, a best of the best accredited veterinary hospital on the east coast, I still had to deal with declaw recovery, pain management, and horrid bandage removals.
Here is a photo from a very real bandage removal. For some cats the removal of their bandages is so painful that they need to be put under anesthesia AGAIN in order to remove the tape and gauze, often the gauze sticks to their dried, bloody paws, and well, you can see how much fur the tape rips off.
The vet used an old pair of nail clippers to declaw cats. The techs cleaned and sterilized them as best they could but they were never sharpened. I no longer work at this practice, but unless declawing becomes illegal, this barbaric procedure will continue to go on.
I saw it.
I held those darling cats as they woke up in agony. It’s not okay. We know better, so we need to do better. Thanks City.

A concerned vet tech


Declawed Izzy Tiger-Needs Funds-Claws Grew Back Inside Her Painful Paws


Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is asking for donations.
April 17 at 7:00pm ·
Some viewers may be disturbed by the following images. Please proceed with caution.
Izzy came to the Refuge in 2012 when she was about 10-years-old after her owner, who was also housing Shasta and Max, could no longer care for her. Being declawed has had significant impacts on the lives of all of these tigers, but Izzy and Max struggled more than Shasta due to the way theirs was performed. A typical declaw procedure involves removing the last bone and knuckle of each toe, meaning it’s more of an amputation and less of an every day “nail trim” as the name suggests. This in itself causes problems for any feline, especially big cats who put more weight on their feet. Whoever declawed Izzy left behind pieces of bone, which has caused her claws to attempt to grow back. Because her anatomy has been damaged, they can’t exit where they should, so they tend to protrude through the bottom of her paw pads or get trapped under her skin.
The wonderful Dr. Anne Brenneke with St Francis Vet came in on her day off and performed surgery to alleviate some of Izzy’s pain. You can scroll through the gallery for more details.


Four Paws Declawed-Dumped In A Ditch-Severe Arthritis In Paws-Walking Is Painful


Bernie was adopted recently after he was found in a ditch. Jill took him to the vet and had x-rays done of his paws to see why he cannot walk properly, why every step he takes he is in pain. The x-rays show severe arthritis in Bernie’s paws, which is common among declawed cats, and gets worse when they ge older. His hips are so sore he lays down like a dog with hip dysplasia. Notice in the photo’s his flat paws, this is called pamagrade stance-abnormal standing posture. The x-rays show the p3 bones missing and the p2 bones are curled with arthritis.

Declawing is animal abuse, there is no excuse for veterinarians to perform this life long pain filled barbaric procedure. A pet is supposed to go to a veterinarian to be healed, not mutilated.

Thank you Jill for saving Bernie, who otherwise would have probably died alone, knowing he was mutilated for profits by hands that took an oath to heal and knowing he was dumped by someone who did not want him anymore because they realized he was handicapped and did not want to face their guilt for what they did to him.

“A 1994 study by the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine found that of 163 cats who were declawed, 50 percent had one or more complications immediately after surgery, such as pain, hemorrhage, lameness, swelling, and non-weight bearing. Of the 121 cats whose progress was followed after surgery, 20 percent had continued complications, such as infection, regrowth, bone protrusion into the pad of the paw and prolonged intermittent lameness and palmagrade stance (abnormal standing posture).

“Scratching is a natural feline behavior that meets cat’s many needs. That’s why declawing has long-lasting effects on cats. Once their claws have been removed, they can no longer perform their natural stretching and kneading rituals. They become weaker as they age and may experience debilitating arthritis in their backs and shoulders.