Past Legalization Efforts
Lawsuit against Mayor Giuliani and the Department of Health
Affidavit of Dr. Katherine Quesenberry






) SS.:


Dr. KATHERINE QUESENBERRY, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

1. I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, licensed in the State of New York. I graduated from the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, and I completed a residency in Wildlife and Zoo Animal Medicine at The University of Florida in 1984. Since 1984, I have been service head of the Avian and Exotic Pet Service at the Animal Medical Center, 510 E. 62nd St., NY, NY.

2. I am the coeditor of Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents, Clinical Medicine and Surgery, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1997. Since its publication, this veterinary textbook has been one of the best selling textbooks in the veterinary field. This attests to the popularity of these animals as pets in the United States.

3. Our caseload of exotic pets is from 4,000 to 6,000 animals each year, of which 20 - 35% are ferrets.

4. Many pet owners consider ferrets a very desirable pet. They are playful, quiet friendly, and nonaggressive. In my 18 years of veterinary practice with these animals, I have found that "aggressive" ferrets are quite rare. Even with ferrets that have a tendency to bite, the bite is more of a nip rather than the serious bite that commonly occurs with dogs or cats.

5. Ferret owners in general tend to be very responsible and attentive pet owners. If a ferret owner has young children or infants in the household, I counsel them on the potential risks, and warn them that any infant or young child should not be left unattended in a room with an uncaged animal, be it dog, cat, ferret, or bird. I consider that the risk of being bitten by a dog much greater than that of being bitten by a ferret.

6. We recommend that all pet ferrets be vaccinated annually for canine distemper and rabies.

7. I fully support amending the policy of New York City to include ferrets as companion animals. These animals are fully domesticated, and they should be treated similarly as other companion animals, such as dogs and cats.


Katherine Quesenberry, DVM,
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
October 14, 1999


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