New York City’s Board of Health is going to have a hearing on January 21, 2014 with regards to lifting the ban on owning ferrets in NYC.
New York City has had a ban on ferrets since 1999 when then Mayor Giuliani and a ferret enthusiast got into a heated debate on the radio. Since that time ferret owners in New York City have been considered criminals and could have their ferret(s) confiscated if found.
Which means that many ferret owners are taking risks every time they take their beloved fur ball to the vet where they could be turned in to the authorities or worse the vets who look the other way are not fully trained in ferret care and often charge outrageous sums for the green papers hoomans give each other.
They have already had one hearing on December 9, 2013 which opened up many of the debates that California Wildlife and Game commission has used to keep ferrets illegal in that state.
Some of those debates include that we, ferrets, enjoy gnawing on little children and news stories have shown up where we have supposedly attacked children. One in particular that happened in Missouri has never been completely substantiated one way or the other as to if that ferret did indeed do what it was accused of doing be for being murdered in a horrific way.
We don’t gnaw on children. We might lick off any food residue on their tiny hands. Or if they are infants in a car seat on the floor and they are making squeaking noises we might think they are a kit (a baby ferret) and will try to take them to where we feel they will be safe. Or we might think they are our favorite toy and try to replace it back in our hide hole. Hooman has often over the years said that ferrets and small children do not mix.
Like most animals we can be prone to certain viruses and rabies is one of the most common viruses out there. Depending on the research there hasn’t been more than 20 cases of ferrets having rabies since 1954 in the United States that may because there are vaccinations for rabies. Responsible hoomans take us in for yearly vaccinations.
Our hooman would not be able to travel to different places or take us to ferret shows without us being vaccinated against rabies and distemper.
As for breeding. Many of us come from large chain pet stores and we have already been fixed and have had our anal glands removed. While not having our anal glands does help lessen our signature musky smell it does not eliminated it as the musky scent comes from the oils in our skin. That smell is what puts us in the category of mustelidae.
As for getting out of a building and setting up a colony of feral ferrets seems farfetched as we don’t tend to do well in temperatures over 70 degrees and with some of the below zero temps not many would survive. But one of the possible upsides to that scenario is that New York City might not have the rat problem as we were originally domesticated to hunt rodents.
Our hooman describes us as a kitten and a two year old rolled into one and we never grow up. I guess that means we are constantly looking for new things to play with when we are not sleeping.
We can be litter trained like a cat and walk in a harness on a lead like a dog. We are inquisitive to the world around us and have a short lifespan. Why should the New York City Board of Health deny ferret owners the right to have their pet without worry. I am sure there is a larger cat and dog population in NY then there are ferrets but until the ban is lifted no one will ever know for sure.
Maybe, just maybe if New York does lift its ban California will take notice and start working towards legalizing ferrets there.
We at Enlightened Ferret would love to have some of our New York City friends attend this hearing and if you have met us let the board of health know just how unique and well mannered we were to you and your pet as we have met many of you through Blog Paws.
Have a Chittering Good Day,