Call 911
Call 911 if the animal is threatening or endangering people, or causing a dangerous situation.

Need something else?

  • NYCHA Pet Policy to report a violation of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Pet Policy

You can report people selling or keeping wild or illegal animals.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) issues violations when appropriate. By law, wild or illegal animals may not be sold or kept as pets.

You can report people keeping wild or illegal animals as pets. Where applicable, you must provide the landlord's or property owner's name. By law, most farm, wild, and exotic animals cannot be kept as pets in New York City.

Animals Allowed To Be Kept As Pets

The following animals may be kept as pets:

  • Domesticated cat, dog, rabbit, horse
  • Gerbil, hamster, guinea pig, chinchilla, other small animals
  • Parakeet, parrot, pigeon, canary, hen or female chicken, other small birds
  • Non-snapping turtle larger than 4 inches
  • Certain reptiles
  • Honeybees

Properly maintained and constructed pigeon coops are also allowed in the City.

Animals Not Allowed To Be Kept As Pets

The following animals may not be kept as pets:

  • Wolves, foxes, coyotes, hyenas, dingoes, jackals, and other undomesticated dogs
  • Lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, pumas, panthers, mountain lions, cheetahs, cougars, bobcats, lynxes, and other undomesticated cats
  • Ferrets, weasels, minks, badgers, wolverines, skunks, and mongooses
  • Squirrels, raccoons, and bats
  • Bears, elephants, zebras, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and hippopotamuses
  • Tarantulas, black widows, and other venomous spiders
  • Iguanas, gila monsters, and many other lizards
  • Monkeys, apes, chimpanzees, and gorillas
  • Vipers, cobras, pythons, anacondas, and many other snakes
  • Alligators, crocodiles, snapping turtles, and other turtles less than four inches in length
  • Eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures, emus, ostriches, and other large or predatory birds
  • Roosters, ducks, geese, and turkeys
  • Bees (other than a honeybees), hornets, wasps, and other venomous insects
  • Gophers, woodchucks, beavers, hedgehogs, porcupines, and other large rodents
  • Deer, antelopes, llamas, and camels
  • Sheep, goats, pigs, and most farm animals
  • Kangaroos, opossums, koalas, and other marsupials
  • Dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, walruses, and other sea mammals
  • Sharks and piranhas

DOHMH will only respond to a snake complaint if the pet is venomous or a constrictor. It is illegal to keep as a pet a snapping turtle or any turtle whose shell is less than 4 inches in length.

Turning In an Illegal Animal

If you have an illegal pet, you may drop the animal off at any one of the Animal Care Centers of NYC shelters in each borough. You will not receive a violation for dropping off an illegal animal.

Animal Care Centers of NYC Locations:

There are Animal Care Center offices and drop-off locations across New York City.

Most require an appointment and are closed on the following holidays:

  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Day

You can report people or shops selling wild or illegal animals. By law, wild or illegal animals cannot be sold in New York City.

Effective April 1, 2016, it is illegal for pet shops in New York City to sell rabbits. It is illegal to sell a snapping turtle or any turtle whose shell is less than 4 inches in length.

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