Target: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Goal: Lift New York City’s ban on pet ferrets based on the old, unfounded idea that they’re “dangerous wild animals.”
New York City has banned ferrets in all five boroughs since June 29, 1999. The NYC Department of Health declared them “dangerous wild animals naturally inclined to do harm,” and an attempt to overturn this decision in 2015 failed.
Twenty years ago, much of America’s population didn’t know what a ferret was, much less consider one a pet. Things have changed a great deal since then, with advances made in ferret medicine and more people adopting or fostering the little creatures. They’re more widely accepted and less likely to be called vermin or mistaken for weasels. But not all of America has embraced them as pets.
Ferrets may be more accepted as pets in most states, but some still look upon them as “dangerous” or “exotic” due to their appearances and the fact that they’re more prone to cancer or other diseases. Some homeowners’ insurance companies will drop clients if they admit to keeping ferrets as pets, and should they accidentally escape they can be mistaken for vermin by anyone unfamiliar with them.
However, all of these arguments pale in comparison to the the following facts. It’s true that ferrets are more susceptible to certain diseases, and they can be slippery little creatures who need to be kept under constant watch. But the majority of ferrets kept as pets are kept in roomy cages and under strong supervision; they’re not allowed outside, have limited contact with potentially diseased animals, and their owners take them to the vet for regular check-ups and all required vaccinations.
As for the danger presented, a ferret is actually no more dangerous than a cat or a dog. In fact, most people can care for their ferrets in a way similar to how they’d care for a cat. Ferrets can be litter trained and some brands of cat chow are just as healthful to them as specialized ferret chow would be.
These little creatures may not be as maligned as they were 20 years ago, but New York City still regards them as the dangerous wild animals they’ve proven not to be. Sign our petition to demand that this needless ban be lifted.
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
We would like to see the ban on ferrets in New York City finally lifted. The majority of the United States recognizes them as valid household pets, and that they’re actually no more dangerous than a domesticated cat or dog. Ferrets kept and bred as pets are docile creatures–their owners go out of their way to keep them disease-free and far away from situations dangerous to them or to others.
People should legally be allowed to own ferrets as pets, so please legalize them as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mariposa Veterinary Wellness Center