Maria Lopez Wed, 12/17/14 - 22:26 Ferrets are NOT dangerous and don't bite. They are very loving and playful pets. I really don't understand why they have such a bad stigma.

Nancy Chinchar Tue, 12/23/14 - 14:22 Grooming businesses should not be required to obtain proof of active vaccinations. Grooming establishments, particularly in NYC, that do not include boarding facilities are almost exclusively small businesses. (The only exceptions are two giant franchised corporations.) Gathering these records puts an undue burden on these businesses, which usually have fewer than 10 employees, by: costing the establishment taxable revenue by forcing them to turn away clients who may have medical or other reasons to reject updated vaccinations (many veterinarians do not recommend older pets continue to be vaccinated, for example) forcing them to increase payroll an estimated $8,000 per year (this figure does not include additional payroll tax) or else abandon other areas of business

Nancy Chinchar Tue, 12/23/14 - 14:30 continued This happens despite the fact that grooming shops that do not offer boarding are typically different from those that do. Independent grooming shops: crate animals separately at all times, so there is less exposure between dogs in a grooming shop than between dogs walked on the street do not expose pets to the causes of illness that the vaccinations purport to prevent (such as an open wound causing fight or the feces of another dog) The law as it is written is inconsistent and ambiguous and possibly harmful to pets. The American Animal Hospital Association has recently updated their recommended vaccination protocols to prevent over-vaccinating pets but veterinarians are not required to follow these protocols. Some practices require that their clients be vaccinated more often than others to be “up-to-date” on their vaccinations. Clients from such a practice would appear to be out of compliance, while others who see doctors who adhere to recommended protocols would be in compliance, though they both may have been exposed to the same amount of vaccination. Many veterinarians recommend that older pets (14+ years old) stop being vaccinated. Many of these pets still require grooming for optimal health. Pets that are turned away from a grooming shop face health issues caused by untreated or severely matted coats, such as untreated hot spots, hematomas and skin rashes Other pet-related businesses and even city-funded dog parks, which generate far more exposure between pets, do not face this regulation Lastly, if the concern is spreading disease to humans, the law is over-reaching. According to the CDC, there have been 2 cases of animal to human rabies in NY in the past three years and in both of those cases, the person involved was exposed to the animal in other countries (Afghanistan and Ghana).

Dr. Remona Rhooms Wed, 12/24/14 - 13:00 I am a licensed veterinarian in NYC. I support the amendment to legalize ferrets. It might also be necessary to add a vaccination for distemper once an appropriate vaccine becomes available again. As already stated, ferrets do not cause more of health risk than the domestic dog or cat. They do have the ability to bite, as do all other pets we keep in our homes. It is up to the owner to properly train and restrain their pets when necessary. Many ferret owners are scared to bring their pet to their vet in fear that they might be taken away or put down. I had a good samaritan bring in a male ferret who was found in carrier, just left in the park. This might have been prevented if resources could have been made available, such as temp boarding or inner city adoptions. Their small size makes them the perfect apart pet. Although they do produce a mild odor, there are many ways to overcome this and they are silent which will not disturb neighbors. How many neighbors complain about dogs barking, or even the occasional meowing. They also do not pose a threat to the local habitat as they believe in California. Ferrets are not equipped to live in the wild for long periods. The threat is also lessened by the fact that most ferrets have been neutered and have short lifespans, so the risk of a wild population is nonexistent. Please pass this amendment to improve the lives of the ferrets already living in our city and increasing the pool of possible adopters of already abandoned ferrets. I know that banning the sale of rabbits will be considered and I would also recommend the same for ferrets. Because they are so small and caged, I fear too many will buy them without properly knowing how to care for them.

Andy schulman Fri, 12/26/14 - 11:49 As the owner of a grooming shop, I agree with Nancy's comments completely as they are spot on. The dogs have no direct contact with one another in the grooming area and therefore there is no risk of diseases being spread. The amount of time spent chasing down medical records is a time con suing burden on both the business and the customer. Periodically we have to turn away customers, which is unfair for all involved (the small business owner, the groomers who depend on these animals to make a living and the dogs who are refused service). I obtained 100 signatures from my clients who were all supportive of having this rule amended and agreed that their dogs were not in any danger of contracting any illnesses while getting groomed. I submitted these signatures to the department of health and several other city officials and have not gotten any reply.

L. Vanessa Gruden Tue, 12/30/14 - 19:35 As Executive Director of the Ferret Association of Connecticut, a nonprofit educational/humane organization focused on the welfare of domestic ferrets, I wish to endorse rescinding their ban. Ferrets are smart, friendly, interactive animals, quiet, not destructive, and with a wonderful joie de vie. Ferrets should be altered to avoid breeders and because their reproductive hormones cause a strong seasonal odor. Ferrets do NOT need to be descented; once males are neutered, strong odors disappear. While undescented ferrets can “spray” when frightened or injured, it lasts minutes. Ferrets cannot cause significant injury to older children or adults. Ferrets weigh between 1-3 pounds. Similar to how many humane organizations discourage families with very young children adopt kittens, we also discourage ferrets in homes with children under 5 – more from fear of injury to the animal. There are no feral ferrets anywhere in the 47 states – including the remainder of New York State – where they are legal. Ferrets are SO domestic that they rarely survive outdoors for over a week. We HIGHLY recommend requiring ferrets be vaccinated for rabies before they are sold/adopted to protect public health. There are no studies on the period antibodies transferred from maternal milk remain effective. In puppies and kittens, maternal vaccine efficacy decreases within weeks. CDC guidelines state that ferrets cannot receive a rabies vaccination until they are 12 weeks old. A health issue affecting both ferrets and dogs is canine distemper. Full protection requires a ferret receive a 3 vaccination series, beginning at 8 weeks old. Older ferrets with an unknown vaccination history should receive a series of 2 shots. We also recommend ferrets receive the appropriate series before placement. I have personally accepted 1,700 ferrets in the Ferret Association shelter. When asked about vaccination status, 99% of owners respond: “The pet store told me it had all its shots.” People are not informed of the need for further annual vaccinations. This is not the only misinformation perpetrated by pet stores. Our STRONG recommendation would be to only allow adoption via a nonprofit organization. The pet industry wants to see ferrets sold indiscriminately. Corporations will profit and give back little to shelters or animal control forced to face the fallout. Should the industry wish to provide ferrets, perhaps they’d consider allowing the adoption of ferrets culled from breeding operations. Having cared for poorly handled, rescued breeding ferrets, I can attest that once altered, they invariably become delightful pets, truly deserving of a loving home. In conclusion, the City has a wonderful opportunity to learn from the mistakes of other municipalities and create smart, humane rules that protect the public and benefit these charming little companion pets. Allowing ferrets back into the City is the first step: Please take it.

Daniel Young Fri, 01/2/15 - 13:28 I fully support the proposed amendment to allow ferrets as pets throughout the city. I grew up in Suffolk county, where my family had several ferrets throughout my childhood. Their small size and friendly temperament make them ideal pets. They pose no more threat to humans than dogs or cats. They sadly can not survive long in the wild. Even if they could, I'd feel infinitely safer being confronted by a stray ferret in some dark city alley than a loose dog. I have always found it bizarrely arbitrary to sell ferrets throughout the suburbs of Long Island, while completely banning their presence just a few miles to the west. Thank you for giving this matter the serious consideration it deserves.

julie palmieri Tue, 01/6/15 - 8:23 I have had the pleasure of having several ferrets over the last 9 years.I strongly believe they should not be sold in pet stores for they sell them to anybody and most of those people are not educated on ferret care. These are the best little animals being loving, fun and inspirational. I believe it would be in no way harmful for the city of New York

amanda vinci Tue, 01/6/15 - 12:22 I care deeply about ferret welfare, especially in a large city such as New York. I am the owner of one ferret for the past 3 and a half years. He's been a wonderful addition to my life and my family. I suffer with various chronic pain conditions, and truly believe that my ferret has helped me to cope with my suffering. Ferrets are intelligent, complex and attentive little creatures. They are commonly misunderstood, and taken on by owners who don't know how to care for them properly. This is why I would like to see the continued restriction of the sale of ferrets in pet shops within the city. Impulse buys could lead to the abandonment or mistreatment of ferrets, causing shelters to become burdened with the intake of new ferrets. I would absolutely love for ferrets to be legal to own within the 5 boroughs, I would love to be able to share my love of Sneaky Weasel with others without feeling at risk of loosing him. 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. Thank you for allowing this to be brought to the attention of the state.

Cathryn Meurn Tue, 01/6/15 - 13:07 I was born and raised in New York - I'm now a NY transplant in the city of Washington DC, working for a California company - which in funny since NYC, DC, and CA are the only three that don't allow ferrets. With ties to all three this remains an issue that I am concerned with. I own a ferret, who I've had for the past three years. I didn't originally want him, it was a remainder of a past relationship - but my word how he has changed my life for the better. I love pets, and this one is one of the easiest, cleanest and best I've ever had. He's litter boxed trained, never bites, and sleeps about 20 hours a day. Living in and near a city, these animals are by far the best pet for a small apartment. Additionally, the ferret community has become an extended family - they all provide support and advice, and it's obvious that research on ferrets have come a long way. The information that DC, NYC, and CA are operating off of is old, out-dated and just plain wrong. I contemplated moving back to NYC when I graduated from my master's program, but the thought of choosing between a life in the city I love, and a pet that I adore - the choice became clear. I hope this gets repealed because it is my wish to see DC and CA follow suit.

Jane L. Schweitzer Tue, 01/6/15 - 13:31 I have been a ferret owner for over 32 years and feel that it is time for the City to accept these creatures. NYC is a perfect place for ferrets to live because they are a perfect apartment pet. They require a cage, litter box and owners to play with at any time. In addition they are not able to survive in our cold Northeastern climate. So this ferret owner from Ohio, recommends adopting legalization of ferrets in NYC.

gwen kaiser Tue, 01/6/15 - 14:14 yes please make ferrets a legal pet in nyc. they happen to make an ideal city dwelling pet with their natural sleep habits...they are friendly, and personable... like a cross between dogs and rats if i were to make a comparison.... i would only add one addendum to this law passing and that is to ban the sale of them in nyc--especially in pet shops. once the pet shops catch wind of ferrets being legal they will start selling them. and they--along with so many pets--will end up being surrendered to the ac&c. and we don't need ferrets taking up valuable cage space. there are plenty of ferrets available for adoption and no need to purchase them from a pet store. so please understand that this law is written very well except it needs to make the sale of ferrets in nyc illegal. adopting is fine--shopping is not. the last thing nyc needs is a ferret overpopulation problem and even with the mandatory sterilizing of all ferrets-- when pet shops are involved that will be difficult to enforce. great law---just make that addition and it's good to go! vive la ferret nyc!!

Kandi Kopel Tue, 01/6/15 - 14:34 Ferrets are wonderful animals and pose no greater threat to human health and wellness than cats and dogs. I support amending the law to allow people to keep ferrets as pets.

Sarah Vesser Tue, 01/6/15 - 15:52 Please reconsider your ban on ferrets in New York City. Ferrets are loving, sweet-tempered animals with a curious disposition and they make wonderful pets. They are no more dangerous than any dog, cat, or bird, as long as they have been trained appropriately and loved unconditionally. As with any creature, care must be taken at all times, but I have never had a ferret who was anything other than fun to be around! They are quiet, making them an excellent pet for apartment dwellers, and can be walked in harness as easily as dogs and cats. A ban on ferrets simply makes it more difficult for those who love these precious little animals and on the animal's health.

D Dix Tue, 01/6/15 - 17:22 I have had ferrets for over 15 years and for anyone to say that they are wild animals has never owned or been near a ferret. Ferrets are loveable animals who want nothing more than to play with their owners and sleep and be loved. They are the ideal pet for me and I don't know what it would be like to not have one in my life or my home. People should get to know ferrets before making any judgment on their temperament or how they live. A little knowledge can go a long way to knowing an animal as special as a ferret.

s jones Tue, 01/6/15 - 18:31 Our family has adopted more than three dozen ferrets from our local shelter over these many years, each little one a precious addition to our lives. Ferrets are soft and cuddly and affectionate and just awesome, playful little love bugs. Each is different, all are wonderful. Gentle little souls, they play and snuggle and dance for joy creating smiles and laughter all their days. Very intelligent and responsive, they give so much love to us. It's vital to work closely with an exotic animal vet and educate yourself. Ferrets should be legal to acquire but not sold at pet stores.

Dylan Cooper Wed, 01/7/15 - 13:20 I have been a ferret owner for over 20 years and I fully support their legalization in NYC. I've always viewed the fact that they were banned in the first place to be an embarrassing case of ignorance and complete disregard of readily available information. Ferrets do make wonderful pets and the case against them is far-fetched at best. New York is one of the most amazing, progressive, and diverse cities in the world. It's time to lift this ridiculous ban that never should have been placed in the first place.

Jasmine Edwards Wed, 01/7/15 - 15:05 Ferret ownership in NYC should ABSOLUTELY be legalized. I am an Indiana resident and I have 7 ferrets. They are not dirty animalsnor are they "wild". Actually cats are mammals who are more closely related to their wild relatives than are domesticated ferrets. It iisn't like NYC residents would be owning polecats, mink, or stoats. My ferrets are very tame and clean. They are very playful, they eat a dry kibble, and act just as any playful. You really are doing a disservice to your residents refusing to allow them the joy of owning a ferret. Please reconsider. I don't know anyone living in New York but I know how much I love my ferrets and I would love to see any responsible pet owner to have the same experience if they so choose.

Stephen Jones Wed, 01/7/15 - 19:23 Ferrets are simply babies with fur. They are so sweet, so playful but they never grow up. Their lives are so short they put a lifetime of love into the 5-8 years of their expected lives. Their only mission is to give and receive love. With ferrets you can never have a a bad day. These fur friends sleep 18-20 hours a day and even or should I say especially while they sleep they are a joy to watch. No need for pet stores to sell ferrets as the little ones are available from ferret knowledgeable shelters. Shelter operators screen adoptive parents and are available to answer questions regarding care and health. Companion animals help relieve stress and studies show that people live longer when they have a pet. Ferrets are the most social of pets and will die without human contact. So all in all a win-win situation by providing a home for a ferret. Ferrets will change your life forever. I am in Florida and I hope NYC will lift the ban so you can all experience the joy of ferrets.

Ashley Murray Thu, 01/8/15 - 7:11 I am an RN from Las Vegas and have had my two babies for about a year and a half and they have been the greatest companions for me and also get along well with the younger ones in my family, ages 2 and 6. I would like to move to New York but am limited due to this ban. It would great to be able to experience your wonderful city and be able to take care of my pets and keep them healthy just as am I able to do in most other cities. I love them so much and would not move without them, needless to say, I take good care of them and they are always up to date on their vaccines. Please don't take NYC off my list of possible places to move to and enjoy. It has been my lifelong dream, so this can only show how much my little guys mean to me that this ban is holding me back.

Hyomyung Kim Thu, 01/8/15 - 13:53 Ferret ownership in NYC should be legalized that they are not harmful as dogs and cats are not. They sleep for about 18 hrs a day n not making noisy. They are also a small type of animal which perfectly fits as city pets.

Kevin Matsil Thu, 01/8/15 - 19:22 My name is Kevin Matsil and I am a Science Teacher in Meriden, Ct.. I have made it my business to rescue ferrets in and around my community for 20 years. I have taught my students how to care for all animals they want to own. Ferrets by far are one the most desired pets by children AND the first to be abandoned by their parents. They see an animal in the pet store that is playful ,cute and loving: it doesn’t take long before their needs and care become too much and they are abandon. I have rescued 13 ferrets and have had to endure the pain of several more that didn’t survive. Please do NOT allow the sale of ferrets in pet stores or allow ferrets that haven’t been altered live in NYC. Pet stores promote their sale without giving the public enough information as to how much care they require. Think of how many dogs and cats suffer at the hands of puppy mills and the number of households that treat a living animal like a toy that loses the interest of a child after the newness fades. We don’t need to add another one of God’s creatures to suffer the same fate. Respectfully yours, Kevin Matsil 36 knollfield Road Meriden, Ct 06450-7121

Katy Moore Fri, 01/9/15 - 1:56 I fully support the legalization of ferrets in New York City, and appreciate the opportunity to support ferret owners by explaining why I feel this action is reasonable and justified. In reference to ferrets, I feel there is no factual basis for the current NYC Health Code §161.01, which states "wild animals are deemed to be any animals which are naturally inclined to do harm and capable of inflicting harm up on human beings." As current research indicates, and many veterinarians with professional expertise in small animals have confirmed, ferrets are not naturally inclined toward violent behavior. As with any domesticated animal, ferrets who are properly cared for do not exhibit violent tendencies. While it is true that kits are prone to nipping - just as any puppy or kitten (or human child) nips and bites while learning about their environment and how to behave, and most likely also attempting to expel excessive energy - if treated humanely, kits quickly grow into calmer adult ferrets and retire those nipping urges. Furthermore, the classification of ferrets as wild animals is unfounded - ferrets are fully domesticated and typically cannot survive if left to their own devices in the wild. Additionally, to outlaw ownership of an animal that poses such little risk to human health and safety seems contradictory when many other animals that pose serious threats to humans, and have caused numerous deaths across the nation, are acceptable for ownership. Incidents of ferret violence are extremely isolated, and of the few that I have read about, all have been traced to severe neglect and/or abuse by the owners. Ferrets react no differently when scared or abused than a cat or dog might, and thus, should be given the same consideration when discussing their capacity for violence, as well as their status as a pet animal. Health and safety concerns aside, I would also like to say that as a 20-year ferret owner, they make truly wonderful, memorable pets. As a dog and cat owner as well, I feel that ferrets are in a league of their own as pet animals, and can offer a very rewarding relationship to a caring owner. They have unique personalities, and are unlike any other domesticated animal in terms of how they behave. Their appearance alone sets them apart, but they are also curious, highly entertaining, and seem skilled at being both as aloof as a cat and loving as a dog. The weasel war dance is truly a hilarious sight to behold, it just inspires instantaneous fondness of these silly creatures. I have loved ferrets since I was a child; because of their uniqueness, they hold a special place in my life that neither a cat or dog, nor any other small animal, can replace. I would want anyone who desires to have a ferret as a companion animal to have that opportunity, as well. I hope that for these reasons and more, the representatives of New York City will consider adding ferrets to the list of beloved, legal pet animals. Good luck, ferrents of NYC.

Dr. Wilfredo Barriosnuevo, DVM Fri, 01/9/15 - 9:55 I have specialized in the care of ferrets for well over 20 years, working very closely with FACT-The Ferret Association of Connecticut. I care deeply about ferret welfare and fully support the amendment to legalize ferrets. With ferrets, there is no harm with them being present. There is no reason for them not to be legal, and there are plenty reasons for them to be legal in terms of the companionship they provide. Ferrets do not cause more of health risk than the domestic dog or cat. And in my many years of experience, ferret owners are extremely passionate about their ferret companions and will go to any length to provide the best medical care available.

jeremy trimm Fri, 01/9/15 - 11:53 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.

Glen Gaylinn Fri, 01/9/15 - 12:39 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.

MELODY HAYS Fri, 01/9/15 - 15:38 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.

Veronica Gallea Fri, 01/9/15 - 16:25 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.

Jaime Liddick Sat, 01/10/15 - 13:41 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.

Veronica Gallea Mon, 01/12/15 - 17:38 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.

Stephanie Richmond Mon, 01/12/15 - 22:13 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!

wendy belward Tue, 01/13/15 - 20:15 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).

Glen Farney Wed, 01/14/15 - 11:27 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.

Ann Gruden Wed, 01/14/15 - 19:01 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.

Della Farney Wed, 01/14/15 - 20:46 Dear Commissioner Bassett: I am a licensed veterinarian with the state of Connecticut. I have treated domestic ferrets my entire career and believe they are wonderful companion animals when the owners are educated about their care and needs. I also have personally owned ferrets for over 25 years. I support allowing spayed and neutered ferrets in New York City, and support the annual rabies vaccination requirement. I do not support the sale of ferrets in pet stores. Store clerks do not adequately explain to prospective owners a ferret’s specific needs, habits, and proper veterinary care. Ferrets are not guinea pigs or hamsters and as such should not be caged 24 hours a day. They are a pet comparable to cats in their intelligence and dietary needs (obligate meat eater) and dogs for their social needs (needing others to play and interact with daily). They require yearly vaccinations (rabies and canine distemper) and yearly examinations with a veterinarian. I recommend that ferrets only be sold or adopted with a valid rabies vaccination not given before 12 weeks of age and age-appropriate canine distemper vaccinations, both of which are only effective for 1 year. Vaccinating ferrets not only protect the human population against rabies but also dogs from canine distemper exposure. Please contact me if you have any questions. Sincerely, Della Farney, DVM

Andrea Drossel-Shea Thu, 01/15/15 - 18:36 RE: Animals Article 161 and Reportable Diseases and Conditions Article 11 Proposed rules/Ferrets Dear Commissioners: 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 properly. My husband and I have had 10 very individual ferrets as pets for over the span of the past 19 years. We have been blessed with their fun loving antics and considered them all a part of our family. Thank you Andrea Drossel-Shea Tel # 860 623-8592 (home)

Tillie Morse Fri, 01/16/15 - 12:28 Department of Health, PLEASE allow spayed/neutered ferrets in NYC. I do think that it would be best if ferrets are not sold in pet stores to avoid fad, impulse purchases and subsequent abandonment. I have owned ferrets for many years and they make wonderful pets. Not for everyone as they are high maintenance and need time out of their cages and playtime every day. Fun, inteligent wonderful little animals.

Michelle Hay Fri, 01/16/15 - 12:33 As a ferret owner for 15 years, I can not stress enough how important spaying/neutering is to this specific animal breed. These are highly intelligent and wonderful creatures that need well educated and caring families to land in. Ferrets are extremely tempting for "fad" purchases as they are so engaging. As a result, thousands of ferrets yearly are abandoned and end up in specialized shelters. All of my ferrets have been adopted and all have experienced some form of trauma from their previous owners. This is not done out of cruelty (mostly) but done out of ignorance. There is a general lack of knowledge regarding how much work these animals are to take care of. They require a substantial amount of interaction which is completely different than that of a guinea pig, however, many new pet owners don't know the difference. And teenager pet store clerks are hardly the best teachers to pass on that information. Save these wonderful creatures for an unhappy fare by passing the two best rules for their welfare. Spay / neutering and get them out of pet stores. Period.

Tina Pence Fri, 01/16/15 - 12:56 I am an Indiana resident, though I have traveled to New York City in the past. When making travel plans or deciding on residency, I also inquire as to whether or not ferrets are allowed, you see my ferrets travel with me, if ferrets are now allowed, I have to stay in a different area so that I am in compliance with the law. I have owned ferrets since early 2001. Our first couple of ferrets were actually pets of my daughters (she was 10 at the time we acquired our first ferret). Ferrets are terrific companion pets, I have stated in the past to friends, that a ferret is the best parts of cats, dogs and other small animals. For instance, you can litter box train a ferret (similar to a cat). You can teach a ferret tricks and they will follow you around (similar to a dog). When they are sleeping - up to 18 hours a day - you can cage your ferret (similar to a hamster or gerbil). You see they really are the best pet! A spayed/neutered ferret in a loving home brings much enjoyment. They are terrific for smaller spaced apartments and truly are docile and good with children. Thank you for your consideration.

Laureta Anderson Fri, 01/16/15 - 13:19 I strongly urge the Board of Health to amend Article 161 to remove spayed or neutered ferrets from the list of animals prohibited as pets. I also urge that pet stores not be allowed to sell ferrets. The purchase of any pet should be a considered, not impulse, decision. I was the owner of a neutered ferret, purchased on impulse by my son. My son gave the ferret to me when he was less than one year of age and I cared for him until his death from old age at age 7. He was a delightful pet, got along with our 3 cats and added much joy to our lives.

Rebecca Leon Fri, 01/16/15 - 13:43 Years ago I owned a ferret. Had him for many years. I don't see anything wrong with ferrets being kept as pets, provided the owner has done their research and knows how to care for one. NYC should definitely lift the ban on domestic ferrets. If you can own a dog or a cat in the city, and various other types of animals as pets, like chinchillas, then why ban ferrets? People can be so ignorant, but it's a simple matter of just now knowing. Lift the ban. Let these furry little adorable creatures find homes in NY.

Lorie Adams Fri, 01/16/15 - 13:51 The Department of Health should allow spayed/ neutered ferrets. Over the last 15 years, I have owned and fostered 6 ferrets. They make wonderful household pets. They are friendly, gentle and endearing. If you have a pair of ferrets one does not need TV, because ferrets will amuse you to distraction! Ferrets need more care than a cat, but less than a dog. They are smart, and are easy to teach and train. They get along well with other friendly family pets. I also believe they should not be sold in pet stores, but adopted through shelters or rescue centers. A ferret should not be an impulse purchase, they are sensitive loving critters, they need gentle handling and loving attention. They need to be protected from hazards in the home, they are very inquisitive and given the opportunity, will get into things they shouldn't. It's kind of like having a two year old child running loose. Ferrets should not be confine to a cage 24/7, but let out to explore with supervision. They love to be outside, but only by leash and harness.Ferrets are wonderful company and should be permitted to have a loving, caring private home!

Lisa Parrish Fri, 01/16/15 - 13:57 Please overturn the ban on ferrets in NYC! Yes, all pet ferrets should be spayed/neutered. Yes, you should ban pet store sales of ferrets as it encourages impulse buying by uniformed animal owners. Yes, responsible NYC citizens should be able to own these wonderful animals. I've had ferrets for 8 years; they are the most loving, intelligent, fun pets ever. They are sweet, and trainable. Unfortunately there are always bad pet guardians, but please don't continue to punish the majority of responsible pet parents who want to love and care for these amazing and cute critters. Ferrets are not a danger to anyone. They just want love. They really are the most playful pets ever.

Kelly Discher Fri, 01/16/15 - 14:02 Hello, my name is Kelly Discher, and I would like to take this moment to appeal to you in considering lifting the ban on pet ferrets in New York City. Having had 6 ferrets over the last 15 years (and been godmother to 3 more), I can say with total certainty that they are the best of pets! Not only are they highly intelligent, but they also are very playful, fun, and form intense bonds with their owners and cagemates. I feel that allowing pet ferrets within the city should be allowed, assuming the ferret be spayed/neutered, and vaccinated for rabies, NOT ONLY for the safety and well-being of the people, but also for the animal itself. In addition, ferrets have very specific dietary, health, and care needs, so I agree that pet stores should NOT be allowed to sell pet ferrets, so as to avoid fad purchases and decrease the chance of the ferret being abused or abandoned. Personally, I would rather have a ferret than a conventional pet, as they couple the intelligence of a cat with the loyalty and playfulness of a dog, but all wrapped up in a package that rarely exceeds 3 pounds. So, thank you for considering my words, and I hope that soon I will see that the denizens of New York City can join me in enjoying the fuzzy joy they call "ferrets".

Patricia Shaskin Fri, 01/16/15 - 14:16 I would like to show support for allowing domestic ferret ownership in New York City. I have been a ferret owner for 18 years. Ferrets are wonderful pets and companions. They are very smart and very clean animals. They do not cause any illness risk to humans. Domestic ferrets cannot survive outside on their own. I agree that they should be neutered and should have rabies shots. Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box so they do not need to be walked. They do not bark or chirp or make any noise so they are very good pets for those who live in apartments. Ferrets are loving animals and they have been brought me much joy.

Julie Burton Fri, 01/16/15 - 14:21 I have owned 5 ferrets over the years and found them to be great pets - much like kittens in their behavior. They are especially suited to apartment living as they don't require much space. I believe the Dept. of Health should allow spayed/neutered ferrets to be owned in NYC. It would also be a god idea not to have ferrets sold in pet stores.

Michele Katen Fri, 01/16/15 - 14:37 I support the amendment to Article 161 to remove ferrets as a prohibited animal in NYC. There is no documentation that domesticated ferrets cause concern for public health. NYC pet stores sell food and other items for ferrets, so why not legalize them! They make wonderful pets. Hope this legalization will help efforts in California and Hawaii, where they are also prohibited.

Colleen Bak Fri, 01/16/15 - 14:42 I would like to comment that I think spayed/neutered ferrets should be legal to keep as pets in nyc, but that they should not be sold in local pet stores.

Connie Martin Fri, 01/16/15 - 16:26 Please reverse the current ban on ferret ownership in NYC. Ferrets are wonderful companion animals that provide hours of joy and amusement for so many people. I would however like to see a ban on the selling of ferrets from petstores as this would prevent any impulse purchases. This would also help to make sure the ferrets are with responsible and loving homes/people. If a ban on the sale of ferrets isn't possible please consider a law requiring the ferrets receive e all the necessary rabies and distempershots prior to purchase

Cheryl Richardson Fri, 01/16/15 - 16:32 I come before you today to ask that you give consideration to allowing neutered/spayed ferrets in New York. I would also VERY STRONGLY recommend that you forbid the sale of ferrets in pet stores to avoid what could be termed as a fad or impulse rush to purchase these neutered/spayed ferrets which may result in subsequent abandonment. I have owned a total of six ferrets over the past 9 years and have learned volumes about their behavior, needs, food requirements (they are obligate carnivores, and should never been fed fruits, vegetables, dairy or human food except for raw meats, or freeze dried meats). I would ask that for those who are well educated to their care and handling, medical requirements and diet, they are extremely loving, well mannered and extremely quiet pets. I presently have 3 male ferrets and while I have owned a menagerie in the past, including tortoises, guinea pigs, birds, wild rabbits and dogs and cats, I can say without a shred of doubt, that they are the most affectionate and devoted of all. No barking, screaming or howling ever, just the most faint noise that we ferret owners refer to as "dooking". A little warbling, quivery sound which indicates sheer joy. My three do not bite, and I will say that unless abused or neglected, or taunted as a rule, they do not bite. The show affection by dooking and by furiously licking the owner, and following close by. They sleep 20+ hours a day making them wonderful for knowledgeable individuals who work during the day. If I can be of further service, or provide additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Respectfully Submitted for consideration. Thank you for the opportunity to express my views.

Brenna Wingett Fri, 01/16/15 - 16:50 As an owner of ferrets, I can attest that they pose no risks to humans. All pets should be vaccinated and spayed/neutered. Most pet stores that sell ferrets already have them desexed, and all rescues ensure that the rescued animals are desexed. Ferrets are playful, curious animals, but they need owners who can care for them properly.There should me more education for people who choose to own ferrets. People should be allowed to adopt ferrets and care for them in NYC. Thank you so much for your time.

J Scheer Fri, 01/16/15 - 19:11 As a Shelter operator and ferret owner for some 18 years, i have seen the results of people being "caught" having contraband animals; confiscation, euthanization. Some do get into the shelter system straining already thin resources. i agree with the stipulation of vaccine, and neutering of ferrets. I further wish to add the necessity of mandatory microchipping of ferrets, so that owners and records can be tracked in the event of theft, or the ferret getting lost or loose. It would also be helpful in the prosecution of abusers.

Judy Garceau Fri, 01/16/15 - 19:14 Please legalize ferrets in New York City. As a mother of five children, I have had a wide range of pets over the years. By far, my favorite was our ferrets. We had many over the years and I cherished each one. They are great, funny, loving, quiet. They pose no danger to wildlife and have been domesticated for thousands of years. Prohibiting pet shops from selling them would help deter impulse buying, therefore reducing the chance of any ending up in shelters. Thank you.

Erin Trickett Fri, 01/16/15 - 19:46 Regarding .01(b)(4), ferrets are good pets for responsible individuals, and the proposed stipulations will reflect a portion of that. However, I believe that the sale of ferrets should be limited to animal shelters at their discretion, as I have seen other cities struggle with impulse animal purchases (not just ferrets, but also rodents, birds, and snakes) that become abandoned and sent to the city shelters, where they become a financial burden as they are still termed 'exotics.' While allowing ferrets to be legal will lead to owners being responsible with their care, keeping pet stores from selling them will stop an increase in impulse pets that will turn back on the city. Thank you for reading.

suzanne beck Fri, 01/16/15 - 20:14 Please allow spayed and neutered ferrets to live openly and please do not allow pet stores to sell them

Robin Cornell Fri, 01/16/15 - 20:28 I have had ferrets as pets for 16 years. I could not imagine my life without my ferrets. Their little faces are so beautiful to me. I look forward to going home every day from work so I can be with my ferrets. Ferrets are an ideal pet for an apartment dweller. They are small, clean and quiet. They sleep a lot too, but are active for short periods of time when like to play and wrestle with each other. It's OK to keep them in a cage while they're sleeping. I keep all kinds of hammocks and sleepy sacks in my ferrets' cages, so they like spending time there and feel safe. I do not think there is any logical reason to ban ferrets as pets. I do agree that pet stores should not be allowed to sell ferrets since they contribute to the problem of people impulsively buying pets they later decide they don't wish to keep. There are far too many unwanted pets already. Ferrets should also be spayed/neutered so they can't breed.

Eleanor Mead Fri, 01/16/15 - 20:36 I have owned ferrets since they were made legal in MA and all I can say, is, I have owned many pets and ferrets are one of the BEST pets anyone could own! People against ferrets NEED to be educated and spend a day at a ferret shelter to learn about them and see they are all about enjoying life and having a good time! People ONLY hear the bad things in the news, never the good stuff! They are superb apartment pets and just require people to be responsible and smart when it comes to owning any pet! Little dogs will bite and are known for it, yet they are allowed, so NOT fair! Please, take the time to go visit a ferret shelter and see what a ferret is REALLY all about!!!

Helene Raacke Fri, 01/16/15 - 20:59 Dear Sirs/ Madams, I would like to strongly urge you to support the amendment 161.01(b)(4) to legalize Ferrets in NYC. I have owned Ferrets since 1985. My husband and I are both professionals who are fans of these silly, clean little animals. We are by no stretch of the imagination "fringe" but we are both allergic to cats. We own Dogs and have not had any problems with mixing Ferrets and Dogs. Ferrets are individuals who are to a one curious and full of life. They bond with each other by choice and they form tight bonds with us as their owners. Too many small animals are impulse buys and our shelters are filled with animals of all types. I believe the first step to introducing ferrets to this area would be to utilize Shelters as the primary stock source. Shelters will educate and support new owners over the course of the animal's life span. I find them to be invaluable when I have care questions. Due to their small size, many people who purchase Ferrets in pet stores are lead to believe that these are "caged" pets. These are not animals that can live full time in a cage. One would not do so to a kitten and expect it grow up to be a well socialized and loving cat. The best regulations would prevent pet stores from selling these animals unless stringent rules were applied: excellent nutritional and behavioral education to new owners, prevent overstocking at the store and a formal plan on handling unsold or sick stock. I support ensuring sterilization and de-scenting Ferrets. Ferrets may have health issues that require professional care and of course they require immunizations. By legalizing ferrets, you would be allowing current owners to access veterinarian care without fear of confiscation. Please legalize Ferrets in New York City in a thoughtful way. Sincerely, Helene Raacke

Laurie Schubert Fri, 01/16/15 - 22:57 I believe that New York City should make ferrets legal as they make great pets for people....they are legal all over the country, and are less dangerous than dogs and have been domesticated almost as long. It would be wise to not allow pet stores to sell them as people pick them up as 'impulse buys' and then they end up in shelters, but people can get them from ferret breeders who make sure that a person knows what they are getting and how to take care of them properly. Please make ferrets legal to own in New York City.

Karen Lamb Sat, 01/17/15 - 10:45 As a ferret rescue organization owner/operator and having kept ferrets for nearly 20 years, I fully support the proposed amended Articles to allow neutered/spayed domestic ferrets in New York City. As a nonprofit ferret rescue organization, our mission is to promote the well-being of the domestic ferret. In addition to providing shelter and veterinary care for unwanted ferrets, we actively support initiatives to educate the public on such misinformation as the domesticated ferret (mustelidae putorius furo) is a wild, dangerous animal. This is grossly inaccurate, as they pose no more risk to humans than other domesticated animals that are kept as pets, to include dogs and cats. Key to the safety of humans is the proper humane care for the animals, and the appropriate medical care, such as the rabies vaccination. We further support the restriction of commercial sales of ferrets, as often these animals are sold by individuals who may inadvertently contribute to misinformation (or lack of information) when interest is focused on monetary gain, rather than the welfare of the animal. Through adequate screening and education prior to pet ferret placement, much of this misinformation can be not only prevented but eliminated. Ferrets are amazingly enjoyable pets that bring similar human companionship and affection as experienced with dogs and cats. We are encouraged to learn that New York City is considering the legalization of domesticated ferret, and support all movements in this direction. Let's enable the residents of New York City to enjoy the same liberties and benefits of ferret ownership, as enjoyed throughout the rest of the state, and nearly all others. Let's make this a reality! Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Karen Lamb, Nirvana Ridge Ferret Rescue, Brandy Station, VA.

Tina Hernandez Sat, 01/17/15 - 11:18 Article 161 Folks all over the US are watching this. We want ferrets to live safely and without fear of confiscation everywhere. They are great pets and have gentle souls. They do not attack people as Dogs do . Ferrets have become a very popular pet and there here to stay with our with out laws to protect them and give they the same rights as our pet dogs and cats, When they get sick it should be there right to be able to get vet care with out the worry of being out laws in the USA They bring a lot of tax revenue on many thing they need , I have had 13 ferrets and will never be with this Loving Pet in my life. I do not live in NYC and If I did would have to move away for this reason. Ferrets Make Me Very Happy . We are many friends in the Ferret world and here to stay . Thanks and please care about our pet ferrets . Posted for my Brutis Ferret and many more ferrets

Barbara Carlson Sat, 01/17/15 - 13:21 I've owned ferrets in Pittsburgh, PA for over 25 years and have run a ferret club for 18 years and a shelter for 12 years. There are over 250 people on our ferret mailing list (who own an average of 3 ferrets each) living in the Pittsburgh area and we've been just fine. Ferrets are legal in large cities all across the United States and they have no problems. Ferrets are domesticated pets just like cats and dogs, but without many of the issues that come with cats and dogs. Ferrets are ideal pets for city living -- they're small, don't bark, and are just fine while the owner is at work. They sleep for about 18 hours a day, and do not require a large space for exercise. I urge New York City to join the 21st Century and allow ferrets as pets.

Tara Smith Sat, 01/17/15 - 16:25 I'm probably what most people would consider a "new" ferret owner. ( I've only worked with and owned ferrets for five years.) But these curious, energetic, little clowns have stolen my heart. It's hard to have a bad day with these little guys around. Watching them run, tumble, bounce and wrestle with each other or a toy, can bring a smile to even the grumpiest face. When people ask why I like ferrets so much, this is what I tell them. Besides being cute and cuddly, Ferrets are: 1) great apartment pets. They are small -- rarely larger than 26 inches and 5 pounds -- quiet, and easy to train. Like cats, ferrets can use a litter box and groom themselves. There is seldom need for a bath. 2) very intelligent and easy to train. They can learn commands such as " come" ,"follow" , "let's go" . Tricks like "roll-over"," beg" , " jump " ( through a hoop), " tunnel" and "weave" ( winding through poles) can be mastered with a few treats. My little LeiDee Bug has mastered several tricks and enjoys entertaining people. 3) can be trained as therapy pets.Ferrets are very social and love attention. I'll never forget the looks on peoples faces when my boy Vlad walks into a room. Eyes light up, faces glow with smiles, conversations start. Even the hardest faces soften when they cuddle him. 4) keep you young -- in spirit at least. They are bubbly little animals full of energy. Their natural curiosity makes you see adventures in everyday things. 5) tend to get along well with cats and dogs. I can't imagine my life without these fur-babies.

Shannon Gilman Sat, 01/17/15 - 18:02 I am writing to request lifting the ban on ferrets in NYC. Ferrets are loving & fun little pets. They would be do fine in an apartment setting as they are small and sleep almost 20hrs a day. In the short amount of time i been a ferret owner, they have brought me so much. Also board member & volunteer at local CT ferret shelter. Being a responsible owner includes taking care of your pet no matter what kind of domesticated pet. If proper steps are taken: (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, will prevent overpopulation and diseases.

Gordon Johnson Sun, 01/18/15 - 4:42 Commissioners, Please reconsider the City's arbitrary 16 year ban on private domestic ferret ownership. They are especially suited for life in New York City's tight quarters as they are small, clean, quiet, and litter trainable. They make wonderful pets and are not inherently dangerous - no more likely to bite than a cat or dog. Ferrets provide the positive and documented health benefits of any other traditional pet, while being a great alternative for people who may be allergic to cats or unable to walk a dog. Please allow only private owners and require pets to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies. Commercial sales and breeding in the city will only lead to impulse purchases, leading to more abandoned pets. A NYC resident who puts thought into adopting a ferret will find many organizations with ferrets available in the Metropolitan area who can ensure the ferret is finding a good home.

Pawel Mirowski Sun, 01/18/15 - 16:37 Dear Ma'am or Sir or the entire Board of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ! Please, legalize Ferrets in New York City ! They are so beautiful and lovely animals. They are harmless and innocent creatures. They bring joy and warm smile to people. They deserve to be legal resident of NYC. I love them so much and enjoy to see how they play and interact with us. They are no different than dogs and cats in giving to people love and friendship. Thank you for your kindness.

Ewelina Drozd Sun, 01/18/15 - 22:08 Dear Commissioner of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ! Please legalize ferrets in New York City ! They are beautiful, gentle, and lovely animals. I've never heard anything bad about them. They are harmless and innocent small creatures. Domesticated thousands years ago by Egyptians and Romans. Leonardo da Vinci admired them. (In a year 1490 he painted a famous portrait of Cecilia Gallerani "Lady with an Ermine"). Ferrets are loyal, playful, intelligent, and affectionate. They bring joy and laugh to people. They even help overcome people's mental problems. I've never met a person who didn't laugh after seeing a happy ferret leap and bounce around a room during play. They deserve to be our pets like dogs and cats in our wonderful place like New York City.



Cheryl B Mon, 01/19/15 - 0:53 Please allow New Yorkers to own spayed or neutered ferrets. I had two ferrets, Buttons and Ozzie. Ferrets are loving and good pets. They are great to enhance the lives of the people of NYC!

Lorraine Lordi Mon, 01/19/15 - 1:11 I support lifting the ban on ownership of pet ferrets in NYC. I have owned ferrets for 7 years and they are wonderful, intelligent and loving pets suitable for people well versed in their care and health issues. I ask that ferrets NOT be sold in pet stores and support the passing of laws that prohibit the retail sales of any pets.

Roary Williams Mon, 01/19/15 - 4:35 My wife and I are private ferret owners. I want to take a second to outline the basic facts about domestic ferrets. First, the ferrets people keep as pets are NOT wild animals. They do not exist in nature. They are a domestic animal, usually bred by ferret farms. There has been little or no documented cases of domestic ferrets contracting rabies, however ferrets can safely and effectively be immunized for rabies and distemper. Domestic ferrets can be destructive in rental situations, but no more than any other companion animal. While many people buy and keep ferrets without prior knowledge and education, most ferret owners are very good at maintaining conditions which keep both ferrets and their rented housing safe from harm. Most domestic ferrets CANNOT be bred, since all ferrets produced by ferret farms are already spayed/neutered and descented. Private breeding of ferrets is difficult and not done easily, so that is not truly a concern. Domestic ferrets have been stereotypically and wrongly accused of being aggressive towards humans, but in almost all cases the behavior of ferrets is misunderstood. The way they play and socialize must be understood. They have jaws stronger than a pit bull, but even with that power I have never once been bitten by any of my 50 plus ferrets I have kept over the last twenty years. The idea that they attack small children or babies is just nonsense. Like any other animal, ferrets will protect themselves when scared, but it is actually less of a problem than with dogs and cats, statistically. I wanted to clear up these basic facts. There is no reason domestic ferrets should be treated like wild animals and regulated in that matter. The illegality of ferrets often CAUSES them to be abandoned, and placed in shelters. To legalize their ownership can only help this situation, not increase it. Thank you for reading.

Rebecca Charters Mon, 01/19/15 - 11:07 As a ferret lover/owner, I highly urge the domestic ferret ban in NYC to be lifted. Ferrets make wonderful companions to the right owners. They do well in small apartments, as long as all their daily exercise requirements are met, and do well at adapting to their owners schedule. No different to a cat or a dog, providing the correct knowledge of care is there, and that new owners do their research first. I agree that ferrets should be spayed / neutered to avoid breeding, which is not only complicated and therefore dangerous, but too many abandoned ferrets are already in need of homes. However chemical castration should also be an option for ferret owners, due to ongoing research / studies showing destinct links between adrenal disease and the removal of the reproductive organs. Time to lift this ban. Its breaks my heart when I hear stories of people who are unable to own and care for ferrets due to restrictions/bans in their state.

Brian Rayne Mon, 01/19/15 - 17:25 I support removing the ban on ferrets. It is not feasible for them to because a nuisance by forming wild packs because domestic ferrets don't have the survival skills to live on their own in the wild. Regarding diseases like rabies, they are no more dangerous than any other cat or dog.

Ella Johnson Mon, 01/19/15 - 18:20 I fully support removing the ban of ferrets in NYC. I've owned several ferrets over the years and they are not a threat or harm in any way shape or form. They are exceptional pets as are dogs, cats, and other small animals. With proper vet attention, care, diet, and dedicated owner they make truly wonderful pets, nobody should miss out on the chance to experience what a joy and honor it is to have such an amazing animal. I do believe there should be some requirements before allowing to buy or adopt a ferret. They are not a caged or easy animal to care for, they need proper diet, several hours of play time, and they're prone to cancer which racks up Vet bills. If someone is unable to provide them with the care they need and deserve they should not own a ferret or any animal for that matter. If rules are enforced we will have less ferrets in shelters. I do not believe they should be extensive but do believe it would be something good to take under consideration.

Jody Renouf Mon, 01/19/15 - 18:39 I am from Massachusetts, where ferrets were legalized in 1996. Having owned and fostered 15 ferrets in as many years, and now in a household with three of these little family members, I support ferret legalization in NYC. As with any pet, ferret ownership requires research before committing. Given the commitment, I am not in favor of their being sold in pet stores, where they may be an impulse or fad purchase. New York City can lead the way in only allowing adoption from nonprofit organizations which meet high standards of care.

Tamara von Ouhl-Kremer Mon, 01/19/15 - 21:20 I support this proposal as ferrets are not wild animals but domesticated and at the most exotic. As with any pet ownership the proper research needs to be done to properly care for the pet prior to purchase. Although I would not recommend ferrets to be sold in NYC to minimize impulse purchases and issues with proper care at the selling facilities. I do how ever believe that those who move to the city should be able to bring their pet with them and to get the proper and quality services that a "legal" pet would receive from shelters, rescues, veterinarians and animal hospitals in NYC.

Susann Thiel Tue, 01/20/15 - 3:05 Thank you for accepting comments on the legal status of domestic ferrets in New York City. As a ferret owner for about 33 years and a Brooklyn native, I can testify that ferrets make terrific pets, especially for apartment dwellers. Ferrets form strong emotional bonds with caregivers and other household pets. Ferrets are highly sociable and intelligent. Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of ferrets are living in City homes already. They don’t survive on the streets or in parks. “Feral” ferrets don’t exist. Shelter operators, veterinarians and ferret owners have already shared their knowledge here. I would like to add a different perspective, as a disaster responder with the Red Cross, CERT, county and state animal response teams and multiple national humane organizations since 1998. On any given day, a pet owner’s poor judgment, lack of resources or inability to secure good veterinary care may cause pets to suffer starvation and neglect, abandonment, illness and injury, or worse. Human health and safety are also at risk in these circumstances. In a disaster, from a single house fire to a catastrophic Hurricane Sandy, people make life-altering decisions in the midst of chaos. People endanger themselves by refusing to leave without pets. Or people do leave, but then try to re-enter unsafe areas. New York’s response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 became a national role model; human lives were saved and health outcomes improved because people were able to evacuate with pets on public transportation, and pets were allowed in the shelters. But where were the ferrets? Why no ferrets in the ASPCA’s shelter in Brooklyn, where hundreds of other animals were cared for? Why weren’t ferrets rescued alive on Staten Island or in Queens? I won’t forget the deep, wracking sobs of a woman who returned home to find her ferrets drowned, or the teenager who tried to hide his six ferrets in a laundry hamper. Or the ferrets being fed salad and peanuts by shelter workers who didn’t know those foods would kill. Secrecy can defeat the best, most compassionate intentions. I hope the Commission will also mandate that domestic ferrets be spayed/neutered. The mandate will significantly reduce the number of ferrets brought to animal shelters. Also, responsible pet merchants like PetSmart decided years ago to reduce or halt the sale of ferrets (and dogs and cats) in their stores. Instead, they sponsor adoption events for local rescue groups and humane societies. Like puppies, most pet store ferrets came from large-scale, commercial “mills.” Research has linked such breeding facilities with negative health and behavioral outcomes. Even perfectly healthy animals are frequent victims of impulse buys or life circumstances that render pet ownership impractical. Store managers were faced with euthanizing “returned” or finding a private, home-based ferret shelter that could squeeze in “just one more.”

Elizabeth Bovenmyer Tue, 01/20/15 - 13:30 In my personal opinion i think the people of NYC should be able to adopt these lovable, caring, creatures that bring so much joy to ones life Elizabeth Bovenmyer ferret owner to many over the years

Edita Birnkrant Tue, 01/20/15 - 14:56 Dear Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett, Please review Friends of Animals’ comments in regards to the Proposed resolution to amend Animals (Article 161) and Reportable Diseases and Conditions (Article 11) of the New York City Health Code . In regards to the proposal for the Board of Health to lift the ban of ownership and sale of ferrets as pets in New York City, Friends of Animals strongly opposes lifting the ban, as lifting the ban would mean that ferrets would then be widely sold in pet shops. Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957 in New York, is a leader in the movement to end the homeless pet problem, which is the cause of millions of healthy pets being euthanized, languishing in shelters or living risky lives on the streets. We operate the country’s first and longest running, nationwide, low-cost spay neuter program, and to date we’ve facilitated over 2.6 million spay neuter surgeries. Since 1957 we’ve educated the public about responsible pet ownership. There is progress being made in New York City in regards to the issues affecting pets that already are legal—dogs, cats, rabbits, etc, but there is still much work to be done. There are still so many unwanted pets in city shelters that are currently legal—adding another species to the mix that has been banned for decades is misguided and would have disastrous consequences. We were very glad that legislation recently passed in the City Council that prohibits the commercial sale of rabbits in pet stores. However, lifting the ban on ownership of ferrets would create the exact problems that led to the need to ban the sale of rabbits in pet stores. The last thing we should be doing is creating another market for irresponsible breeders. Allowing the sale of ferrets means creating a new market for these breeders, and that means there will be large numbers of “surplus” ferrets that will likely be dumped in shelters or on the streets. This is the wrong thing to do, just as we’re making some real progress with all the issues that lead to the pet overpopulation problem. In closing, Friends of Animals strongly opposes lifting the ban of ownership and sale of ferrets in New York City. To lift this ban is to guarantee creating a host of problems with surplus numbers of ferrets being introduced into New York City, at a time when dogs, cats and rabbits are still being euthanized in city shelters for lack of adoption homes. Sincerely, Edita Birnkrant Campaigns Director 1841 Broadway, Suite 350 New York, NY 10023 Phone: 212.247.8120 Fax: 212.582.4482 E-mail:

Hyomyung Kim Tue, 01/20/15 - 16:33 Ferret ownership in nyc should be ligalized that they are nice and sweet. They are nothing more dangerous than people have cats and dogs. They sleep for more than where and doesn't make noisy. Its perfect for city pet.

Sangeun Lee Wed, 01/21/15 - 0:44 I request ferret ownership ban to be lifted. Ferrets are highly trainable and friendly animals. They suit for animal lovers who unfortunately do not have too much personal time. They are quite and they sleep most of the times. Big cities like NYC have complex living arrangement, which suggests that ferret is the best option. As long as they are neutered and descented, a few possible concerns will be certainly eliminated. They generally love to be petted by people. Now it's the time we should pay the same respect.

Jackie Burke Wed, 01/21/15 - 7:11 The ban on ferret ownership should be lifted. I got my ferrets when I lived in Indiana. I had graduated from the police academy and was also in my sophomore year of undergrad. I was going through a very tough depression and had started visiting the dogs at the pet store to help alleviate my depression. I desperately wanted a pet to help me cope, but caring for a dog in a small apartment was impractical. During my visits to the pet store, the ferrets captured my attention and stole my heart. After months of researching ferret care and ownership, I welcomed two of these lovely creatures into my home. They have changed my life. They have been a constant source of joy. They have helped me cope with depression, survive breakups, and actually motivated me to do better in school. As a police officer and full time student I faced a lot of stress, but caring for these ferrets gave me a purpose outside of myself, and playing with them gave me daily stress relief. Now in NYC I attend law school and face even more stressors than before. My ferrets continually provide me with the relief from my stress that only a pet can bring. Ferrets are suited to an apartment environment; they do not need as much space as other pets, they do not need to be taken outside for bathroom breaks (as they are litter trained), and they are still able to get proper exercise in the limited space that NYC apartments provide. Ferrets are also a perfect match for the busy, on-the-go New Yorker lifestyle. Ferrets sleep 20 hours a day in their cage which allows owners to maintain their schedules without sacrificing the animal's well-being, unlike dogs who are often left in crates for hours on end and must have strangers come to walk them. Regular care for my ferrets has been an issue since moving to the city. I am left wondering where I can take them for veterinary care. My ferrets receive both rabies and distemper shots every year and they are due for their, but I have been afraid to make any appointments because I fear they will be confiscated. However, the ban should be lifted for private ownership only. Ferrets are very unique animals with unique needs. If ferrets were sold in stores, impulse buys would result, and the animals would suffer. Responsible owners would just like to enjoy the pets that they love in the city that they love. Overall, ferrets are heartwarming pets that increase the health and happiness of the people who own them. There is no reasonable reason for ferrets to be banned. The ban places a burden on people who wish to own a pet but may not be able to own a dog or cat due to space constraints or allergies. Ferrets are not dangerous, there is no risk of overbreeding because most are neutered before ever leaving the breeders', and they do not cause more damage to households than either cats or dogs. Ferrets enrich the lives of their owners and should be allowed in the city.

Robert Szpanderfer Wed, 01/21/15 - 12:06 Dear Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett,, As someone who was born and raised in NYC for 18 years, I was shocked to learn that ferrets were not legal in the boroughs. I no longer live in the area; however, I still have family and friends that reside in NYC. Nearly a decade ago, I purchased my first ferret while studying in Maryland and I have owned ferrets ever since. They are charming, intelligent, and gentle animals that echo the love of their owners. Ferrets are the perfect companion for many residents of the NYC area as they are quiet, litter trained, and sleep for approximately 18-20 hours a day. The domesticated ferret cannot thrive without their owners providing them the proper care. Many of the comments that have been submitted provide strong evidence that ferrets make excellent companions and pose no threat to the NYC area. Therefore, I am submitting my comment to show support for the ferret owners that reside in NYC. Thank you for allowing the opportunity to submit comments.

Jay Cas Wed, 01/21/15 - 12:13 The ban on ferret ownership in NYC should be lifted. In areas outside the city limits where ferret ownership is legal, there are no instances where ferrets reproduced in mass numbers outside the home, attacked the public, or engaged or were involved in any other situation that would justify a ban. Furthermore, ferret owners in NYC exists regardless of the health code, and the ban on ownership is doing nothing but marginalizing them. Policy should not be arbitrary but based on facts and science, and there are plenty of data that suggests owning ferrets is no more harmful than owning dogs, cats or any other pet currently allowed in NYC.

Charwyn David Wed, 01/21/15 - 12:53 I agree with Nancy Chinchar. The only vaccination I think should be a requirement is rabies and that's for preventative measures in the event a groomer gets bitten. Bordetella is not required unless dogs are visiting a daycare or boarding facility. Dogs are not typically in contact with each other in a grooming parlor so the risk of disease transmission is slim.

Kimberly Morales Wed, 01/21/15 - 13:58 I request that the ban on private domestic ferret owner be lifted because they are small, clean and quite animals which makes it suitable for life in NYC. They make great pets and are very calm. They are more asleep than awake most of the time. I have had ferrets over 5 years and I am prove that they are not vicious animals. Since my baby brother was born, I have had ferrets and they never did any harm to him. I have heard of cats and dogs biting children more than ferrets. If this ban is lifted, I really wish that ferrets won't be sold in ANY pet store because I don't want none to fall in the wrong hands of people that don't have the time and care that ferrets really need. Ferrets are lovable creatures but like I said before they need a lot of care. They need to be vaccinated and so on but how can ferret owners in NYC bring their little ones to a vet without being afraid of getting caught with them?. I have gone through this and it's the worst thing ever, I love my ferrets and wouldn't want the city to take them away from me just because they believe they are dangerous. There should have done a deep research about ferrets when they banned them. Also, a lot of pet stores sell ferret food and supplies which means that a lot of New Yorkers own ferrets. I also ask that this ban is only lifted for private owners who will be required to own spayed and neutered animals, without allowing permits for breeding or pet shops in order to protect the animals and reduce the risk of ferrets becoming a fad animal that can overwhelm our shelters. Thank you for your time.

L. Vanessa Gruden Wed, 01/21/15 - 14:25 Due to a personal emergency I could not attend today's session to provide my testimony personally. I am attaching it to this comment along with the supporting documents that were to be provided to the committe: Exhibit1; Publication1; Bites; and a total of 30 signed letters that were to be presented at today's public hearing. Respectfully, L. Vanessa Gruden Executive Director, Ferret Association of Connecticut

Bernadette Keith Wed, 01/21/15 - 15:17 Ferrets make wonderful pets! I've had ferrets for around 15 years and they've always brought me great happiness and satisfaction in my life. I can't imagine living without them and feel that everyone should have the right to have such fun and enjoyable pets. Thank you for your consideration.

Miranda Kalonarou Wed, 01/21/15 - 15:51 Dear Commissioner! I disagree with grooming salons inquire proof of vaccinations other than rabies! As we all know our animals are already over-vaccinated, let's not make them sicker! There are hundreds of "animal clinics/grooming salons" that are operated by non-licensed veterinarians/groomers that are thriving on vaccinations and other "procedures" making thousands of dollars!! Same with the cage dryers, the dryer is not the problem but the person who operates! There should a strict certification that'll require compassion, extensive knowledge and proven common sense in order for somebody to become a groomer! I have been grooming for a few years now and I've seen so much neglect towards these poor animals!

Amy Casner Wed, 01/21/15 - 16:33 The ban on domestic ferrets should be lifted. These fun loving animals need to be able to go to the vet without their owners worrying about them being confiscated or being robbed by vets that don't have the education to care for them. The ferret helped to build NYC by running wires before 1934 it also was used in rodent control. They have earned their place long before an irate Mayor lost his wits about him. With the ban in place I can not visit NYC as I travel with my ferrets and would love to be able to see the city for myself. so please consider eliminating the ban. Thank You.

Yvonne DiVita Wed, 01/21/15 - 17:01 Please please please overturn the ferret ban. These delightful creatures are fun, loving and harmelss.

Karen G Wed, 01/21/15 - 21:31 New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Gotham Center, 42-09 28th Street – CN 31 Long Island City, NY 11101-4132 Re: Animals (Article 161) and Reportable Diseases and Conditions (Article 11) Proposed Rules/Ferrets Dear Commissioners: 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. Allow altered ferrets; do not allow pet store sales. Thank you. Karen G

Violeta Savchenko Wed, 01/21/15 - 22:55 I hope they will legalize ferrets in NYC...