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Laurie Rosin's Cat - Declawed by Amateurs

Hello, Folks.

I adopted a one-year-old Siamese from the Sarasota (FL) Humane Society Shelter in 2003. Bottom line: She was declawed on all four paws, and whoever did the work mutilated her. I noticed immediately that she walked oddly, and recent X-rays showed that the knuckles were not taken off at the joint. Someone had simply hacked at her bones and cut through them and the pads. She must have been in constant pain, walking on bone chips without padding under her paws. She was also off balance and leaning backwards as she tried to overcompensate.

She has just had two operations on her front paws to try to correct this mess. My vet removed all the bone chips and amputated the partial bones back to the knuckles and then tried to bring the remaining pads forward. This did not work on three of her toes. She wore through the pads, and the bones protruded from the bottom of her paws. Two weeks after the first surgery, she had a second on those three toes, amputating bones back to the first knuckle, then suturing the wounds. We haven't decided what to do about her hind paws, which are similarly mutilated.

I contacted the office staff at the shelter shortly after I adopted my cat, told them about her odd gait, and asked them to find out who performed the surgery. (My current vet doesn't even think a veterinarian did the surgery.) The shelter was not cooperative, giving confidentiality as their reason.

Two years passed, and I found a vet who makes house calls in a van equipped with an X ray machine and surgery facilities. This was when I learned the true extent of her mutilation. Again I called the shelter.

This time they were more cooperative. They reported back: they called the numbers listed in my cat's folder and came to a dead end. So sorry.

I am sure they are busy and have more immediate concerns. I, however, have watched this cat suffer, and I've just put out $1100 for surgical procedures so she might walk comfortably. I want to make certain some hatchet man isn't still doing this to cats, and I want to make certain some veterinarian isn't still handing over his patients to an inadequately trained tech to perform declawing, if in fact that is what happened.

I have the X rays that show clearly what was done, and I have two vets willing to testify in court.

How can I pursue this? I don't want to give up.

Laurie Rosin

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