Roosters in the Big Apple? Exotic Animal Complaints on the Rise in NYC

Posted by Paige Cerulli

New Yorkers are breaking the rules when it comes to pets, and it's resulting in significant exotic animal complaints. 

Exotic animal complaints are running rampant in the Big Apple, as New Yorkers break the law to keep rather unusual animals as pets. Since January 1 of 2016, there have been 389 exotic animal complaints made in New York City. Of those complaints, 157 were for roosters, 36 were for snakes, and 30 were for turtles.

Mark Singh of Flushing complained to the New York Post that his neighbors called 311 about the fact that he was keeping roosters.

"You feed chickens and they give you eggs. So why not keep chickens?" Singh stated. " One of my neighbors nursed baby raccoons for two years -- and they have rabies!"


The Department of Health sent inspectors out to investigate complaints. They had been to Singh's house last June, but didn't see any animals at that time. A visit following up on another complaint on August 18 revealed that there were six ducks on the premises, violating the city's code.

The Health Code forbids New York City residents from keeping animals that are "naturally inclined and capable of inflicting harm" on humans. Should residents violate the code, there can be steep fines involved - keep a rooster and you risk being fined $1,000.

The moral of the story? Know the rules before you get a pet - especially an exotic or unusual one. This is a good rule of thumb whether you live in New York City or another urban area. If you rent, then you'll also want to get your landlord's approval for any pet - in writing - before you bring it home. If you get a dog, make sure that you license it with your town or city.

It's not usually difficult to follow the rules when it comes to pet ownership, and can help you to avoid fines and the potential heartbreak of having to rehome your pet down the road.

Do you have unusual pets in a city apartment? Tell us in the comments below.

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Roosters in the Big Apple? Exotic Animal Complaints on the Rise in NYC