|STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Dr. KATHERINE QUESENBERRY, being duly sworn, deposes and
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.,
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