Past Legalization Efforts
Council Member Kathyrn Freed's Bill to Legalize Ferrets
City Council votes to LEGALIZE ferrets in NYC - 5/9/01


The Full City Council Voted To LEGALIZE Ferrets In NYC!

But There's Still A LOT More Work To Do...


Mixed News About the May 9th Vote

On Wednesday May 9th, 2001, the full City Council voted to approve Intro 627-A, the bill to legalize ferrets in New York City's five boroughs. The good news is that we needed 26 votes for our bill to pass and we got EXACTLY 26 votes! So it passed! The not-so-good news is that we got EXACTLY 26 votes.

After the City Council approved our bill the Mayor's approval was still needed in order for this bill to become a law. On May 21st, the Mayor vetoed (turned down) the bill. The Council can choose to hold a second vote to override his veto, but that's not a "given". Not every bill that's vetoed is automatically brought back to the Council for an override vote. If it is brought back to the Full Council we'll need 34 votes to override the Mayor's veto.

We know that there were some people working around the clock getting friends and families to write letters, getting petitions, calling Council Members, faxing information... May 9th's victory was because of all of you. Those 26 votes in favor were pretty firm and will hopefully stay that way. Every Council Member's office was called several times in the week before the vote and it was clear which ones had people in their district working on this issue. Some Council Members were SWAMPED with mail and calls. Others never heard anything at all. Not one call or letter from anyone in their district. To those of you who have been doing the work, this victory was yours. We absolutely couldn't do it without you. Congratulations, and thank you.

Freed Thanks Council For Supporting Bill To Allow Furry Ferrets As Pets



Write Thank You Letters



Write thank you letters to Kathryn Freed and to Peter Vallone. Ms. Freed is the sponsor of our bill. Without her there'd be no bill. Mr. Vallone is the Speaker for the City Council. Without him, we'd have a bill, but it wouldn't have gone before the full City Council for a vote! He decides when and IF a bill will be voted on by the Council. Please send thank you letters to both of them TODAY and let them know how much you appreciate their work on your behalf.

It's crucial for these two people to know how much you appreciate their help and support. Both are running for higher public office and public opinion is very important to them. Since our bill was vetoed by the Mayor, THEY will be the ones deciding whether or not our bill will be brought back to the City Council for a second vote to overturn the veto. -particularly Mr. Vallone. Write to them today!


Katherine E. Freed
51 Chambers St.
(Suite 429)
New York NY 10007
(212) 788-7722
Peter F. Vallone
22-45 31st Street
Astoria NY 11105
(718) 274-4500
(212) 788-6865




It was very encouraging to see the number of Council Members who took the time to review all the material and make informed decisions based on the facts. Many of the Council Members who voted against the bill CLEARLY had not done their "homework" and made all kinds of outrageous claims about ferrets that simply weren't true. Everybody is entitled to an opinion and not everybody has to like every kind of animal, but many Council Members who had not taken the time to research the material available to them made comments that were factually incorrect. However, much to the delight and relief of ferret supporters present that day, every time a factually incorrect or outrageous claim was made about ferrets, the next Council Member who voted in our favor was quick to correct the misinformation -which was even further proof that the Council Members voting "yes" had truly taken the time to research the issue. Everybody living in the districts of those Council Members should be very proud of how well they spoke on behalf of ferret owners. It would be an honor to be represented by any one of them.

Council Members who voted in FAVOR of legalizing ferrets in NYC



And Still... More Letters To Write....




Why Didn't These People Support Our Bill?


Some of the Council Members who voted "no" or "abstained" did so because they, or a Council Member they knew, received insulting or hostile letters and calls. It is very important for YOU to do damage control -even if you're not the one who created the damage. While it is appropriate to express your disappointment about a Council Member's decision (and we encourage you to do so), it is NOT acceptable to insult, threaten or harass a Council Member. It might make you feel better but it severely hurts our cause. We may need some of the people listed below to change their votes to "Yes" votes. It is very important that you not alienate any Council Members listed below. Let them see that ferret supporters are intelligent, respectful, friendly people, and that the inappropriate behavior of a few people does not represent ferret owners as a whole. Please be respectful in all your correspondence with any Council Member.


Didn't Receive Any Letters Or Calls

It is important to note that while there were many Council Members on the "Yes" list who received numerous calls and letters asking them to support this bill, several Council Members who did not support our bill openly stated that the reason they didn't was because nobody in their district cared about this issue. -In other words, nobody from their district called or wrote letters to them.


Didn't Do Their Homework

Some of the people listed below simply did not do their homework with regards to ferrets and some even admitted that they didn't feel like they knew enough about ferrets. BUT, the main reason some of these people did not take the time to learn more about ferrets is because there weren't enough people in their districts contacting them and urging them to do so.


Council Members who voted AGAINST legalizing ferrets in NYC

Council Members who ABSTAINED at the vote to legalize ferrets in NYC

Council Members who WERE NOT PRESENT the day of the vote



<-- More information on Kathryn Freed's bill to legalize ferrets