Did you know that while Ferrets are a welcome pet here in Long Island but are illegal in New York City?
I get customers in every now and then from the city or the Bronx and they always seem surprised that we are selling Ferrets. For a while now I've been wondering why they were illegal so I looked it up on the NYC Department of Health page where I found this press release:
HEALTH DEPARTMENT STATEMENT ON
MAINTAINING BAN ON FERRETS IN NYC
The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously today at its quarterly meeting to establish in New York City a list of animals which are prohibited as pets in New York City. The Board of Health is the official body authorized to enact the New York City Health Code. The list voted on today includes ferrets, which have been banned as pets under the Health Code's provision prohibiting ownership of wild animals (Section 161.01) since 1959. Public safety is the significant concern.
Ferrets are known for their unpredictable behavior, and they are prone to vicious, unprovoked attacks on humans. Ferret attacks reported nationwide over time have become notorious for their severity and capriciousness, causing serious injuries to some infants and young children in particular. In New York City's multiple dwelling residences, which are not natural habitats of ferrets, a ferret could crawl through holes in walls or travel along risers or ducts to other apartments, with potentially tragic consequences for the neighbor of a ferret owner.
Given careful consideration of what is known now, it would be irresponsible from a public safety perspective to allow a ferret to be kept as a pet in New York City.
Truthfully when they are young they do bite and claw but no more then a puppy or kitten. Personally having been bitten by all three the ferret bite is the least painful of the bunch. Just like puppies and kittens, Ferrets were once predators and in the wild they still are. Like pet pups and kits, as pets they eat a specialized diet made just for them. They LOVE to play and if you don't keep their nails trimmed they can give you a really good scratch as they grab hold of your arm to get picked up.
Unlike a puppy or kitten you need to keep an eye on them when outside of their cage since they love to explore and can fit through small holes. They also like to burrow so the under side of your couch or box springs are a tempting hiding place. They also like to carry off shiny things so keep an eye on your keys.
They use a litter box just like a cat and if you keep it clean (and they have been fixed and descented) they smell no more then a dog or cat.
So if your lucky enough to live somewhere they are legal then they are definitely worth considering. AS always check out petfinders.com to see if there are any at the local shelters up for adoption and save a life.