Banfield, The Pet Hospital’s ban on cosmetic tail docking and ear cropping may leave pet owners wondering about other controversial procedures, such as debarking, dewclaw removal and feline declawing.
Karen Faunt, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, vice president of medical quality advancement, said Banfield has an official policy against debarking procedures, though she pointed out that the company really didn’t perform such procedures previously.
Dewclaw removal is left to a veterinarian’s discretion, Dr. Faunt said. Dewclaws that are not attached can get easily ripped, and the surgery to fix it, which can be complicated, is no fun for the adult pet, she added.
Banfield will continue to declaw cats, though it strongly recommends alternatives.
“We prefer our clients work with behavioral training and figure out ways to work with their cats,” Faunt said.
In reality, she said, a cat tearing up furniture or scratching people is not going to bond with the family and consequently will end up at an animal shelter, where it isn’t likely to find a new home.
“So we will continue to declaw to keep cats in homes and prevent them from going to the shelter,” Faunt said.
She said Banfield has protocols to ensure that the cat’s pain is prevented, that the cat is well taken care of and that the procedure is done humanely. <HOME>
Related article: Banfield Stops Offering Tail Dock, Ear Crop Procedures