Public comments for: Animals (Article 161) and Reportable Diseases and Conditions (Article 11)

Comments

Comment:
As a 30 year+ owner/shelterer of over 1,000 ferrets and even longer pet owner, I support repealing the ban on domestic ferrets in NYC; not allowing commercial sales; requiring they be altered; and enforcing NY state rabies vaccination regulations. Facts support this rational, humane rule change. Ferrets are legal throughout NY and the US. The very few remaining bans put in place over 25 years ago are being successively eliminated following the 1998 ferret rabies protocols established by NASPHV. Further, ferrets are specifically categorized as domestic animals within the same paragraph as dogs and cats within the Compendium of Rabies Animal Prevention and Control (Ref: 2011 - Part I. Rabies Prevention and Control - A. Principles of Rabies Prevention and Control - 5. Domestic Animal Vaccination - pg 4 attached pdf). In today's highly mobile society, the average person would not even consider asking "is my pet legal" when moving after having purchased it at a pet store or adopting from a humane organization. How confusing to a family to explain abandoning an animal simply due to relocation. Ownership restrictions within the same state seem particularly capricious. Unfathomable is why an individual may possess a horse in NYC, but not a ferret. I have owned all sorts of animals in over 60 years including horses. I can seriously state from experience, on a potential “danger” scale of 1 - 10 ferrets come in at less than 1, cats at about 2, dogs based on size at 2.5 - 3.5 and horses at about a 6. And I have lived with some seriously abused ferrets. Unquestionably, there are ferrets living within NYC. My guess is some owners are unaware they are illegal. Those who do know might very well not be obtaining required rabies vaccinations due to fear of discovery. Public outreach efforts to enforce vaccination mandates become difficult as long as ferrets are considered illegal. This state of affairs is not in the best interest of public health. It is not in ferrets' best interest to be offered for sale as the latest new "fad" pet as a result of a publicity" bubble or “marketing.” That is inhumane. Irrespective of what some like to suggest, businesses do not earn much in profit from a ferret purchase as mark-ups are rather insignificant. Unfortunately, ferrets are sold and promoted in order to sell far more profitable products: food, cages, bedding and toys. Yet, no mention is ever made to prospective buyers of the significant veterinary care ferrets frequently require by their 3rd to 4th year of age. Thus the current trend is to reduce pet abandonment and the ensuing expense to municipal budgets due to "impulse" buying by eliminating commercial pet sales particularly in large metropolitan areas. Animal welfare organizations applaud and support such actions that ensure potential owners are adequately screened and educated prior to pet placement. It's a win for the public, municipalities and the animals as well.
Supporting Document:
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
Dear Commissioner Bassett and fellow Commissioners: I am writing to support amendments to the above articles to allow neutered/spayed domestic ferrets in New York City and to require they are vaccinated for rabies. Domestic ferrets are friendly, quiet, non-destructive pets well suited to city living. There are no feral populations of domestic ferrets in any of the 47 states where they are allowed, including the parts of New York outside the five boroughs. Ferrets require a similar level of care as a dog or cat and since they are different than either, should have an educated owner. Any animal injured or frightened may bite, however a gently handled, properly trained, well cared for ferret does not. Due to their small size, the chance of a ferret causing significant harm to a human is minute. I urge the City to not allow sales of ferrets in commercial pet stores. The resulting “fad” or impulse purchases will only further burden the city and local animal shelters. Instead, I recommend the humane alternative of only allowing ferrets to be adopted through nonprofit organizations. Please allow those who love these happy little comedians of the animal world to bring laughter and joy to the people of New York City. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Glen Farney President, Board of Directors Ferret Association of Connecticut, Inc.
Supporting Document:
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
I am writing to request lifting the ban on ferrets in NYC. Ferrets are gentle souls, who provide unconditional love and bring a smile to one's face with their playfulness and clownish behavior. They would be suitable for apartment dwellers, weighing between 1 to 3 lbs. and sleeping most of the day. Being a ferret owner for 15+ years and an advocate for their welfare it is important to keep some things in mind. (1) To prevent impulse buying, don't allow the purchase of ferrets in pet stores. Instead, have prospective owners adopt from rescue/humane organizations where they can be provided with the proper education and be screened for suitability. (2) Spaying and neutering are important for the health of the ferret and to prevent overpopulation. (3) Rabies vaccines and Distemper vaccines (when they become available).
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
As a board member of a ferret rescue organization, I urge the city to pass the proposed article to allow ferrets to be owned as pets within city limits with the provisions that they be vaccinated for rabies at 12 weeks of age, be spayed and neutered, and not be allowed to be sold in pet stores within the city. Ferrets make wonderful apartment pets as they are quiet and live in cages when their owners are not home. I've owned ferrets for over a decade and know that the many homeless ferrets in the NYC area would find happy homes with residents of the Big Apple!
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
Glen Gaylinn is absolutely correct. I only have fiberglass cages in my store and never use a cage dryer on any setting other than warm or cold, depending on the need of the individual animal. Although timers are also helpful in assuring the safety of an animal, I do advocate a set up where the cages are in full and constant view of the groomers, as is the case in my shop.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
NYC should definitely lift the ban on domestic ferrets. If you can own a dog or a cat in the city, there is no reason that you shouldn't be able to own a ferret as well. I hope this is the beginning of a movement to allow ferrets to be legal in all fifty states.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
Regarding restricting the use of cage or box dryers by facilities that care for animals. Dryers are useful, safe tools when operated by qualified individuals. The problem is not the dryers but the lack of conscientious use by untrained people. The solution to the problem of dryer accidents, as well as a multitude of other animal related mishaps, is to require dog groomers, as well as other animal care personnel, to be licensed by the state of New York, as are so many other professions. I have been grooming dogs for 42 years. I studied my trade as an apprentice under a master groomer for 3 years before opening my own dog and cat grooming salon on the Upper East Side of N.Y. 39 years ago. I wished then, as I do now, that there were strict requirements and tests for groomers. It would elevate dog grooming to a truly professional level and certainly eliminate the needless suffering of animals that have been injured, or worse, by untrained or poorly trained individuals.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
I have had pet ferrets for years. I got my first at age 16 and am now 44. I currently have 5 of them. They make wonderful pets. I fully support the legalization of spayed and neutered ferrets in NYC. Spaying and neutering is an important part of a healthy ferret, as well as a crucial part of controlling pet overpopulation. I also do NOT want NYC to allow the sale of ferrets in pet stores, as pet store ferret sales will NOT benefit ferrets.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
RE: “Amendments 161.15 Use of cage or box dryers”; I am most appreciative for this forum and opportunity to express my experienced opinion, and the effects on our businesses to the legislative board. As the owner of a dog grooming facility in NYC for over 20 years and holding several U.S. Patents on grooming inventions; I would like to weigh in on what I believe is an overreaction to a legitimate safety concern regarding the utilization of cage/crate dryers used at dog grooming facilities. For millions of dogs and over 50 years, groomers have been modeling their businesses to efficiently groom multiple dogs simultaneously by utilizing cage dryers to dry dogs in preparation for their final style cuts. The actual number of burn accidents is an infinitesimal fraction of that. An outright ban is, in my opinion; an overreaction as a solution. These burn accidents occur due to just that; accidents. This legitimate safety concern can be addressed and remedied without having to compromise the efficiency practices of the grooming business itself. 1) The drying of dog hair does not require high heat, just dry air blown over the hair to absorb and transfer moisture off the dog, then up and away as vapor. It is the mistake of groomers to use a high heat "hot box" method. 2) Metal cages without vapor ventilation near the top become essentially ovens. 3) The biggest mistake is losing track of time while a dog is drying under conditions 1 & 2. I propose legislation be towards mandating that only non-metal crates with ventilation near the top, in conjunction with the use of a timer be allowed. This should serve to greatly address this safety concern without radically compromising the grooming business.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
I want to support amendments to the above Articles to allow neutered/spayed domestic ferrets in New York City and to require they are vaccinated for rabies. I care about ferret welfare. Domestic ferrets are not a risk to the public. They are nice pets for owners who understand their needs. Pet store personnel, especially in chain stores, do not properly educate customers when they sell ferrets. I do not think they should be sold in any stores. The best way to get a ferret is to adopt it from a humane society or ferret shelter where they know a lot more about them and teach people to care for them well.
Agency: DOHMH

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