|STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Dr. JAMES K. MORRISEY, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
1. I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, licensed in the State
of New York. I graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary
Medicine in 1992. I currently practice at The Animal Medical Center
located at 510 East 62nd Street, New York City.
2. I have been working with ferrets since I graduated and have
been practicing exotic animal medicine (birds, ferrets, rabbits,
rodents, reptiles, zoo animals) since 1994. I did an internship
at Kansas State University in Exotic Animal, Wildlife, and Zoo
Animal Medicine. I then performed a residency in Avian and Exotic
Pet Medicine and Surgery at The Animal Medical Center. I then
did postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin in Special
Species Medicine and Surgery. I currently work with the Avian
and Exotic Pet Service at our hospital, which comprises 6 veterinarians
dedicated to nontraditional species. I work with 1-5 ferrets each
day and lecture about ferret medicine and surgery around the country
to pet owners and other veterinarians. I have also written several
book chapters on the domestic ferret.
3. The ferrets seen at our hospital are all kept as pets and
are cherished members of the family and typically live for 6 to
8 years. These pets are friendly, playful, and inquisitive. They
are easy to work with and nonaggressive animals as patients.
4. Ferrets have many habits similar to cats and are cared for
in much the same way. These pets are very clean and can be taught
to use litter boxes. They are interactive, intelligent pets that
can be kept easily with other ferrets, dogs, and cats.
5. We recommend a yearly physical examination and vaccinations
for canine distemper virus and rabies virus. The rabies vaccine
has been proven to be efficacious in ferrets since 1990. (Rupprecht
CE, Gilbert J, Pitts R, et al. Evaluation of an inactivated
rabies virus vaccine in domestic ferrets. Journal of the American
Veterinary Medical Association, May 15, 1990, pages 1614-1616)
There have been only 14 confirmed cases of rabies in domestic
ferrets since 1958.
6. For these reasons, I believe that ferrets make excellent pets
and are usually very well cared for by their owners. I would encourage
the New York City policy on ferrets to be amended and that these
animals be afforded the same rights of other domesticated companion
pets, such as dogs and cats.
James K. Morrisey, DVM,
Dipl., ABVP (Avian Specialty)
October 13, 1999