Ferret Enthusiasts Push To Legalize Their Habit


An oft-stigmatized group is hoping that 2015 is the year that they finally make some sweeping changes in New York City law. That’s right: Ferret enthusiasts, the champions of those one-step-beyond-a-hamster creatures, are pushing for the animals to be taken off the city’s official banned pet list. (Other animals banned include jaguars, squirrels, roosters, gophers, and owls.) Ferrets have been on the official shit list for fifteen years. Rudolph Giuliani famously had a heated exchange about the pets during a radio show. “The excessive concern that you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist. Not with me,” the former mayor told a ferret lover. “This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.”

Ferret lovers have been stung by Giuliani’s anti-ferret sentiments ever since. The issue is now up in front of the New York City Board of Health, which is considering what ferrets could do for our fair city and such concerns as whether escaped ferrets could mate with rats to form super-rodents. (Not really. But maybe!) Pro-ferret groups point to the ferrets’ portability as one of their major selling points. From the Times:

Ferrets have the independence and walk-by-themselves tendencies of cats, but the playfulness of dogs, she said. They are very affectionate and like to snuggle. They weigh about two pounds and can fit easily into carrier bags. They sleep a lot, up to 18 hours a day, so they make perfect city pets: Owners can put them to bed in their cages and go to work without feeling guilty…

They are also eager to burrow into visitors’ handbags. “Ferrets like to collect things,” she said. “Nacho has this stockpile of toys that he keeps. Watson likes to take water bottles and hide them.”

Charming, just what we need. A public hearing on the proposal, which Mayor de Blasio introduced last spring, will be held later this month.


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