Peanut-His Declawed Story

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Peanut .. his declawed story
Peanut the declawed cat. He was surrendered to the Midwest City Oklahoma Animal shelter.. a city shelter.. a kill shelter.. for being aggressive and not using his litter box. Jana Bellerr posted a video showing Peanut and it was a sad, mad, aggressive kitty. He was covered in fleas! He was just simply miserable and his owners totally failed him when they dropped him at a city shelter. He was not going to make it out of that shelter alive unless rescue took a chance and pulled him. So with community support, that is what happened! We got him to our awesome vet peeps at Harvest Hills and Peanut was treated for fleas and worms, and that for sure, made a world of difference! He was checked for UTI and none was found. He was kept safe, updated on his vaccinations and microchipped. And on Wednesday July 25, 2018, headed off to see a specialist in regards to his paws.
Dr. Suzanne Hurst with Kindness Vet Hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma, checked Peanut and shared a video showing how Peanut was not walking normal, “The video shows how he walks back in his feet to try to take pressure off his toes.”
Also check out the Xrays to see the bone fragments.. there were 7 total and 1 piece of odd tissue. And then look at the photo of the pad of his foot, you will see calluses… “If you look at the xray you can see those fragments line up perfectly with those callouses.” The physical exam showed, “His toes were painful when I palpate. Grumbled some but no biting. Many pets don’t like their feet touched. But We cannot assume there is no pain. I would rather assume their IS pain. Take those bone fragments and put them in you socks and walk around on them. It will hurt. And then imagine the fragments are pushing directly on nerves and bones with no cushion of skin and tissue in between. OUCH!”
So the next pictures are the bone fragments being removed and the bone fragments themselves. ” Peanut’s procedure took an hour instead of 2 1/2 hours like Sam’s did! All is good! Removed 7 fragments and 1 piece of odd tissue. Peanut Woke up hungry. Had breakfast and is now snoozing!”
Peanut is now in a foster home recovering.


Sam Adams-His Declawed Story

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Sam Adams is a giant Tuxedo boy that was taken to the Chickasha OK Animal Shelter a few weeks ago by his owner. He was owner surrendered with the information that he was 4 years old, neutered, declawed, didn’t use the litter box and was aggressive. The ACO, Layce Graham, stated to us, this was the most aggressive cat she had ever encountered. They could not even get him out of the carrier.. the owner had to leave it. Now I want to say.. in most all situations like this, this cat would have been instantly carried back to the “death room” and euthanized. Shelters are not equipped to deal with situations like this. However, ACO Graham, is cut a bit differently and is heavily involved in local animal rescue and is a member of the Oklahoma Rescue Network. She knew there was more to Sam’s story and she reached out to us.
The first thing we recommended was an xray of the declawed paws and ACO Graham got that done. Sam had to be sedated, then xrayed and it was shocking but not surprising what was found. His paws were in bad shape and he was in extreme pain. He immediately was put on pain meds.
Next step… we reached out to THE PAW PROJECT..if you have not heard of them ..please go to their facebook page and follow them! Oklahoma just happened to have a Paw Project vet in Tulsa OK at the Kindness Vet Hospital and after seeing his xrays and hearing his story, Dr. Suzanne Hurst wanted to meet Sam.
That happened on Thursday. She met him and agreed he needed to stay for surgery.
Surgery was yesterday.. Friday, June 29, 2018. Sam will be staying there while he recovers and then he will be on a pain medication protocol for as long as needed. We hope that someday that he will be weaned off and of course, the ultimate goal is that he finds the purrfect forever home.
So now, pics…I will show the ones from the meet and greet with Dr. Hurst then the surgical ones… and the last pic is the special blanket the Global Comfort Fab group has made just for Sam.
Our prayer on behalf of Sam Adams… stop declawing. If you have a declawed cat, please check their feet every year via Xray, if you have one that doesn’t use the litter box, get him checked immediately…ask for xrays!

A “Licensed Professional Veterinarian” Declawed Mishka on ALL 4 Paws AND Removed All His Teeth


The NY veterinary associations successfully stopped our Cat Protection Bill in NY on Saturday. This bill would have protected cats from being declawing by these “licensed professional veterinarians.”

The big pro-declaw Veterinary Associations like the NYSVMS, AVMA, and all the other state vet associations told the NY legislators that the decision about declawing should be in the hands of the veterinary profession and not the government or social media.

These unethical NY veterinary leaders say, “we are not willing to let government decide what’s best for our patients”, “allowing legislation to ban us from doing a medical procedure is a dangerous precedent”, and that declawing has “allowed countless families to keep their feline companions.”

Well my friends. The hard, cold facts are that most of the pro-declaw veterinarians can’t be trusted that they are counseling clients about the humane alternatives, doing it as a very last resort,  giving their clients accurate declawing information, and following the guidelines that these veterinary authorities have put out.

In fact, most of them have failed over and over and over and over, year after year and it’s time for the “government AND social media” to step in! 

They declaw as a first option and don’t want to lose cat clients, don’t want to take the time to educate cat owners that declawing is really bad for their kitty cats, and gosh darn it, they enjoy the extra income it brings so they can use it for European vacations, fancy cars, and all the other fun things that life has to offer. NYSVMS Declawing Propaganda

But what about the cats folks?

We can’t even trust many of these veterinary leaders to practice what they preach. NYSVMS President & Officers & DeclawingBORDER

 I’d like for you to meet Mishka, a 4 yr old Siamese kitty.Mishka

According this the nice folks at the Williamson County Animal Shelter Shelter’s Facebook page , when Mishka was 2 yrs old, his owner had him  , “declawed on all four paws and had all of Mishka’s teeth were removed because he was chewing on baseboards and things.”

Mishka, now 4 yrs old,  was relinquished to this shelter, because his owner has poor health and can’t take care of him anymore.

Yep, a trained, licensed veterinarian, who had years of education in the veterinary medical field, made the decision to perform these “medical procedures” on this poor kitty.

I’m happy to say that Mishka was just adopted from this shelter and if I can get photos and an update on him I will post them. Here is this Texas shelter’s website

Mishka may be in a different state than NY but there are many stories like his in New York.

The President of the NYSVMS said to her vet members when they were trying to lobby the NY legislators with their declawing propaganda, “This is your opportunity to preserve your right, as a licensed professional veterinarian, to ensure you can make medical treatment decisions that are in the best interest of your patients” and that the bill to ban declawing is, “detrimental to animals and their owners.”

Is she out of her mind to think that WE are stupid and believe her misguided words. Sadly, enough of the legislators believed them,  since our bill was stopped.

What kind of “leader” fights so hard in a profession that is ALL about healing animals to keep an unnecessary and inhumane procedure on their list of veterinary “services”?   What kind of unethical mindset is this to call an elective, non-therapeutic mutilating procedure a “medical procedure” and act like how dare anyone take it away from them.

Reminds of a big cry baby on a playground when they get their favorite toy taken away.

What ever happened to doing the right thing and first do no harm.

We must stop these pro-declaw veterinary professionals from performing this torture and cruelty,  in honor of the Mishka’s and all the other 22 million kittens and cats who sadly ended up in the hands of pro-declaw veterinarians who clearly always make the wrong choice.

It’s really sad but true. They can’t be trusted to make the correct decisions when it comes to declawing.

PLEASE ask your own vet if they would stop declawing cats and you can use this note if you want. Note to Your Vet

If they won’t stop amputating kitty toes and claws then kindly let them know you are taking your business to an ethical veterinarian who doesn’t declaw cats.  There are lists of these veterinarians on my website,,, and

Thank you


Stringtown Animal Hospital In Ohio Denies Crippling Chicken Cat-Second Opinion Proves Chicken Is In Severe Pain

October 2, 2018

Chicken the cat was declawed with a scalpel on June 6, 2018 by Dr Ellie Scott at Stringtown Animal Hospital. She has been limping, standing up with her paws up, crawling, eating laying down in her food, and not covering her waste in her litter box ever since.

Here’s a video of Chicken the cat from September 2018.

Chicken’s final diagnosis from Stringtown Animal Hospital on Sept. 19, 2018.

Skin- Healed declaw incisions.

Musculoskeletal- no pain on palpation and didn’t pull away.

X-ray- No sign of osteomyelitis or fractures of bones, no issue with declaw bones or fragments.

Assessment- Healed declaw, resolved fever, possible phantom pain if holding up paws at home.

No treatment needed at this time. Dr Ally Bond, Stringtown Animal Hospital.

(Cat owner asked to refill Buprenorphine and was told that depending on the X-ray findings, Stringtown AH will know what additional treatment is needed. After the x-rays, Stringtown said no treatment needed.)

The cat owner requested Chicken’s records but the practice said that she personally could not get them but that they would send them to a new vet practice. Dr Ellie Bond escorted the cat owner out of the animal hospital on her final visit. The cat owner had to find another vet practice to try to help Chicken’s condition.

Chicken was taken to Rascal Animal Hospital, a no-declaw veterinary practice in Dublin, Ohio on Sept. 21, 2018. Provider, Michelle Gonzalez, DVM.

Subjective- Chicken presented for recheck of her declaw that was performed in June. Declaw site became infected shortly after surgery and Chicken has not been using her limbs normally since.

Musculoskeletal:Non-weight bearing to mild weight bearing lameness of both front legs. Growled when palpated, unable to determine if pain is related or behavioral. No abscess or swelling noted at this time.

Radiographs: No P3 remnants noted in any of the front claws, changes in the P1-P2 joint consistent with arthritis or resolving osteomyelitis.

Assessment- Suspect complication from declaw procedure. Rule out arthritis, never damage, and infection.”

Discussed with owner that clinical signs suggest possible complications from declaw procedure. Because there is no fever, redness, or swelling, infection less likely.

Primary differential is arthritis. Recommend anti-inflammatory therapy for 1 week, if significant improvement then will likely need long term joint supplements and anti-inflammatory therapy because it can’t be cured. If no significant imporvement, the primary rule out is neurologic, which could resolve in months or never.

Sending home with Onsior 6 mg 1 tab SID for 7 days then recheck.

UPDATE October 3, 2018. Chicken’s condition did not improve with Onsior so the cat owner is taking her back to Rascal Animal Hospital for a recheck.

On October 6th, a radiologist reviewed Chicken’s x-rays that were taken by Stringtown Animal Hospital and said, “There is significant digit swelling bilaterally (the 3rd and 4th are the worst.)

In other words, there is significant swelling of Chicken’s toes on both front paws and the worst are the 3rd and 4th toes which are the weight bearing toes.

Here’s a sad “Dear City” note that I received a few weeks ago from the owner of Chicken the cat in Ohio.

“Hello my name is Whitney and I’d like to share with you my story on my cat Chicken.

On 5/31/2018 we had taken our fur baby to Stringtown Animal Hospital in Grove City, Ohio, in hopes we could get her spayed. She was about a year old. She was destroying everything in the house and always trying to run outside and it was getting out of control.

At this time I had been 5 months pregnant. When we had taken her there we had assumed she was destroying the carpets and everything else due to not being fixed. Sometimes she would even pee on our bed!

When we had got to Stringtown Animal Hospital we were discussing the options we had with Lori, a vet tech. I even told Lori I was thinking about getting pretty paws so she couldn’t destroy anything else. I brought to their attention that declawing was not an option at a lot of places and I felt it was cruel.

Lori, who we had been discussing this with, reassured us that it was the best option. She highly suggested we get our cat declawed.

She never said anything bad about it. She said she had her cats declawed and it was the best decision she had ever made.

So without second thoughts, my boyfriend decided it was the best option. If someone is only telling you great things about it and highly suggesting it, you’d probably do it.

So she got spayed and declawed on 6/6/2018 by Dr Ellie. All of the employees had told us if we had any problems to bring her back in and they would fix it if it had to do with her declawing.

The next couple of weeks were weird. I would call Stringtown Animal Hospital every single day to ask if what she was doing or how she was acting was normal. Jackie reassured me that is WAS.

We had to have her in a cage big enough for her food, water, and litter box for 14 days. We had to use special litter called Yesterday’s News.

Her paws were bleeding on and off, Jackie said it was normal.

I had asked if her continuously licking and biting her claws was normal, she reassured me that it was. They again had told us to bring her back in and they’d fix it, if there were any problems with her declawing.

The 14 day mark came and we were finally allowed to let her out of the cage! Most exciting day of my life so far. We let her out, and she still acted off. She acted like it hurt to walk on her paws.

Chicken was still aggressively licking and biting her paws. So I called Stringtown again and they reassured me that it was normal.

For two and a half months, she has been trying so hard not to walk on her front paws. She was standing on her back paws like a dog looking around.

They had reassured me, this was normal. A couple of weeks go by after my last phone call and my cat has completely become antisocial.

She doesn’t want to be around myself or anyone else. She starts hiding. She becomes unresponsive. She was sitting at her bowl one day and I heard her food hit the wall and I come running around the corner and she’s laying in the middle of the floor meowing so loud.

I pick her up and I’m petting her asking her what’s wrong and telling her she’s okay. So my boyfriend comes home and I tell him “something’s wrong with Chicken.” He looks at her and starts talking to her, no response. He goes to pet her, no response. She lets him pick her up and hold her and doesn’t try to squirm away or anything. At this point she had stopped eating and drinking and going to the restroom.

So I call Stringtown Animal hospital back and I tell Jackie what’s going on and tell them she’s refusing to walk at all. She looked like a raccoon sneaking. She said, “bring her in, it sounds like there is a problem with her declawing and it will be no charge.” I said can I bring her in right now? She said yes.

So I took her there. As soon as I get there I tell them what’s going on again, and the woman said okay we’re going to keep her over night and we will talk about a payment plan in the morning. I said no, I was just told on the phone before I brought her in that it would be free of charge.

She said “right, okay we will call you tomorrow to talk about it.” So I go home, and wait and wait and wait.

I get a phone call. “Yes Whitney, this is Nikki from Stringtown animal hospital calling you to tell you, Chicken is dehydrated and has an infection and a temperature of 105’. It’s going to be $518 and some change to do an x-ray, blood work, IV, antibiotics, and pain medicine.”

I said, excuse me what the ****?! Excuse my language but I was told when I came in it had to do with her declawing and it sounded like she had an infection due to that and it would be free of cost. “Right well ma’am we can assure you everything looks like it healed properly so it isn’t that.”

Okay so why do I need to pay for an x-ray, what is the x-ray for?

“Ma’am it’s to be certain that it has nothing to do with the declawing.”

Okay so you’re contradicting yourself here. First you say it has nothing to do with that and you are certain is has nothing to do with that. Now you are telling me I have to pay $500 and some change for you to be POSITIVE that this isn’t your guys doing.

“Well like I said it has nothing to do with that, so how would you like to go about this?”

Well my boyfriend just lost his job. I’m now 8 months pregnant and we don’t have $500. I am completely broke at the moment.

“Okay so here are your options, you can bring her home in the morning and we can’t help her. You can leave her here and pay the $500, or you can put her up for adoption when you come in in the morning.”

So I hang up. I cannot stop crying at this point. I don’t know what to do. I’m going to lose my fur baby over this. So I’m bawling my eyes out and my boyfriend comes in the bedroom and asks me what’s going on.

I tell him, and he makes a post about it on all social media. Telling everyone about it. It’s being shared by hundreds of people. Everyone is wanting justice for Chicken. So the night ends and the morning begins.

I get a phone call.. “Hello Whitney?” Yes this is she. “This is Dr. Bond calling from Stringtown animal hospital about Chicken, we’ve received a bunch of threatening messages from a Calob and Billy over Chicken throughout the night. We want to help Chicken.”

So I tell her what happened the night before. She says “That has nothing to do with me, I’m sorry that the person you were talking to wasn’t good with communicating with you on what is happening. We are positive it has nothing to do with the declawing.”

Okay so what can we do?

“We gave her some antibiotics throughout the night and some fluids in an IV. We can send her home with some pain medicine since she’s not feeling well too if that’s something you’d be interested in.”

How much would that cost? “Well I can work with you on that, for everything it would cost $120 but I can cover half of it if you could get the $60.” So I tell her I’m going to try to see if I can find someone to let me borrow $60 and I hang up.

I called my boyfriend’s mom and told her what was said she said I’ll give you $60 I just want Chicken home. So I call them back and tell them I can do that, they said I could pick her up around noon.

I go in to pick her up and they give me the bill for everything. On the bill it showed that they had given her fluid, antibiotics, pain medication, and LASER THERAPY ON HER FRONT PAWS.

So I say to Dr. Bond what is that? I thought this had NOTHING to do with her paws, that’s what all of you have been telling me all night and day.

She said right it doesn’t but we wanted to make sure she could walk around still. They then tell me they gave her capstar, that wasn’t on the paper, and they didn’t give her any pain meds that I could do that when I got home.

I bring her home RAGING and I let her eat, then I check her temp, at this point it’s 103. I then give her some pain medicine. I did this for 3 days until she started moving. I was forcing water into her through a syringe in her mouth because she refused to drink still.

A couple of weeks go by, and it’s present day. She still tries not to walk on her paws. She’s eating and drinking now, she’s responsive, and she’ll let you pet her. She doesn’t want to be held and she doesn’t want to walk. Her paws hurt.

I then called to speak to Dr. Ellie Scott who had offered for Chicken to give Chicken a free x-ray to prove that her “illness” had nothing to do with her declawing.

On the 19th of September, 2018 my mom and I took her to get her x-ray. My mom had asked a lot of questions. She asked what kind of tool they used and why her claws looked different in the left paw then on the right. Dr Ellie Bond and Lori said that it was normal. I wouldn’t know if it were normal or not but it did not look normal.

I asked afterwards if I could please have copies of her records. The entire staff told me no, they could only give me her shot records. So I got those and went out to the car with my mom and I thought about it. That is completely illegal. They have to give you your records if you ask them right?

I walked back into Stringtown animal hospital and asked if I could speak to Dr Ellie Scott or a manager there. They pulled Ellie Scott out of surgery and she came into the examine room and said “we have done all we can do with chicken and I think it’s best that you take her somewhere else.”

I responded with, I asked them if I could speak to a manager if you were busy all I wanted was a copy of Chickens records for my own personal benefit. Dr. Scott then said “like I said we’ve done all we can and we can transfer her records to a different vet if that’s what you want but we can not give you her records.”

Then she escorted me out of the building to make sure I left. My mom and myself went home, I was completely caught off guard and believe I didn’t deserve for them to escort me out of the building for asking for copies of my animals records.

I got Chicken into Rascal animal hospital and called Stringtown Animal Hospital and asked them to transfer her records there by noon the next day. Stringtown animal hospital failed to send the records by noon. They had sent them an hour later with the x-rays, two hours later!

I waited for Calob to get off work and we went to Rascal Animal hospital where we would get a second opinion. The Dr. had told us that there WAS an infection in her CLAWS at some point in time but it is hard to tell how long it when it was there. I proceeded to tell her everything that had happened and she was completely mind blown.

She looked at the x-rays and pointed out that the left one was different then the right one just like my mom noticed the night before. She is now taking Onsior to see if what chicken has is arthritis, or neurological pain.

If you are thinking about getting your fur baby declawed, please don’t. There ARE other options. Your fur baby and yourself should not have to go through watching them suffer because they get their finger tips cut off.

In my opinion it should be deemed inhumane everywhere. It’s cruel and if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve walked away completely.

My cat isn’t the same and she’ll never be the same. I hurt my baby, and I’m having a really hard time forgiving myself.

I still cry about it all of the time. So please if you are seriously thinking about it, look into the other options. Just because one person has had good experiences, doesn’t mean that 20 other people have good experiences with it as well. If you or someone you know has a story, do NOT be scared to share it.

People need to be more aware. I wish I was. Don’t be afraid to post it in any way either. You don’t have to threaten anyone. No one likes when you tell people the truth especially when they only care about the money and not your animal.

So please.. think about all of your options before making a life changing decision like so. You may spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars just to accidentally kill your animal.. That’s what happened to me.”

I reached out in an email on Sept. 23, 2018 to the vet who owns Stringtown Animal Hospital and who did Chicken’s declaw, Dr Ellie Scott, and asked her some questions about these issues. I wanted to give her a chance to tell her side of the story. The cat owner gave permission for Dr Scott to speak out about Chicken’s situation. I checked in by phone 3 times to make sure Dr Scott received the email and asked if she was going to reply and each time, the employee said that they would pass along the note to Dr Scott. I never received a reply to my email. (Emails are at the end of this story.)

This cat owner provided me all the records for Chicken the cat. Here’s what Stringtown Animal Hospital wrote about Chicken’s procedures and “Big Day.”

Here are the comments from the declawing vet, Dr Ellie Scott, to the cat owner’s boyfriend on Facebook.

Stringtown Animal Hospital also posted this on their facebook page on Sept. 5, 2018 in regards to Chicken the cat and told their supporters to send them a personal message and they would show them the posts. They received many  words of sympathy from supporters about this.

Stringtown Animal Hospital is one of the thousands of declawing vet practices that recommends and uses Purina’s Yesterday’s News Cat litter for their declawed cats. Please take 20 seconds and sign my petition to Purina. I’ve asked Purina to help us educate the public about declawing and the humane options and/or donate $1 of each sale of Yesterday’s News Cat litter to an organization like the but Purina wasn’t interested.

Purina makes millions of dollars each year from declawing. Yesterday’s News Cat Litter is the number one recommended cat litter by declawing vet practices for their declawed kitties. Purina Petition

Please remember to not threaten or be mean to anyone in this story. When you are threatening, it hurts the cause, it’s wrong, and it often hurts me. Please take the high road and educate.

Also please go to my website, and sign up on my mailing list. I have big things planned to end declawing and I will need your help soon.

There are people who have connections to Stringtown Animal Hospital and this declawing vet who are making comments on my social media posts about this story and are trying to discredit Chicken’s declaw story and the cat owner’s credibility. I will post all of Chicken’s records from Stringtown Animal Hospital that corroborate this cat owner’s story.

This is the email that I sent to Dr Ellie Scott to interview her for this story.

Sept. 23, 2018

Dear Dr Ellie Scott,

I was a Los Angeles Times photojournalist/journalist for 25 years and now write stories about declawing on my famous cat’s blog,

Our mission is to educate the public about the facts about declawing and about the easy, humane alternatives.

I’m going to be doing a story about Whitney ______ cat Chicken and her declaw procedure.

I’d like to ask you a few questions about my story to hear your side of it. It would not be fair to you to just hear Whitney’s side of the story and I would be happy to include your perspective too. It is my intent to understand as much of what happened as possible.

I intend to include as many facts as possible. Would it be correct to state that you are skilled at declawing and perform the procedure regularly? What is the typical protocol at your practice for counseling owners who are considering declawing their cats? Are options other than declawing discussed prior to the procedure?

If so, what options do you recommend most? Do you routinely advise clients of the possible complications associated with the surgery and if so, are they verbal, written or both?

From the records on Chicken’s declaw and spay it appears that a Loxicam injection was administered for pain.  Is that the only pain control you typically use for all of your declaw surgeries? Is that the standard, stand-alone, drug that you utilize to control pain from multiple toe amputations?

You and some of your other vets stated that Chicken’s condition was an “illness” and not related to her declaw.  Dr. Bond even said that it might be related to a virus that is going around in other animals.  What other “illness” are you thinking is causing the pain? What are your top rule-outs to investigate why Chicken cannot walk properly?

How do you assess that a cat isn’t in pain?

When Whitney brought Chicken in for the x-rays and exam on Sept. 19,  your diagnosis was, “possible phantom pain.”

What is your treatment for that?

What specifically are you relying on that convinces you that Chicken’s condition is not due to complications from her declaw surgery? Did you find something on physical exam to indicate otherwise?

How often do you have complications from declaws that were done at your practice or by you?

I thank you in advance for your allowing me the opportunity to discuss this matter with you.  I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Lori Shepler

Sept. 25, 2018

Hi Dr Scott,
I found this post on Facebook from Sept. 5.
It is clear that you were adamant that you felt that Chicken had an “illness” that wasn’t related to her declaw and wanted your followers and clients to believe that also.
Can you please let me know what the illness was that you and your other vets were seeing in dogs and cats that made you feel that Chicken might have had the same thing?
Also do you have more harassing posts that were made about this issue, other than the ones that are in Chicken’s records which are the GoFundMe, the one on FB by Caleb , and the one from Billy ?
In the records, Dr Bond said that Caleb is, “harassing us and threatening to hurt us.”
Do you have the screenshots of those two things, especially where he said he would hurt you?
Ok, I hope I hear back from you so that you can present your side of this important story. Whitney has given you permission to talk about it with me or any other journalist fyi.
Lori Shepler

Here is a video posted on their facebook page showing a declawed cat that is being held by an employee.


Making Excuses To Declaw Your Cat Is *Unforgivable*

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This is what people who have declawed want to bury their heads in the sand about, this is just one of the reasons declawed cats develop litterbox issues and bite.
Please educate yourselves before deciding to make this horrible decision.
Decisions in the past do not make you a horrible person, continuing to make them and making excuses why you do this is unforgivable. We all have made mistakes, learning from them is what makes us better people.
OUR hearts break for all the kitties in the world who suffer this life.


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)