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Animal Control NYC

Animal control in NYC can be confusing because there are several entities that help to control and regulate various things. In this detailed guide, we’ll go through the various entities that help to govern the use and care of different animals, and you can find out what to do or who to call for different situations.

1. Animal Control NYC For Immediate Threats

If you’re facing a situation that is an immediate threat (such as a wild animal) to the health and safety of you or others in NYC, call 911. You can call 311 for other concerns.

2. Rabid animals in NYC

You can use the Animal Care Centers of NYC to report:

  • A dead animal that may have been rabid before it died
  • Report animals that might be rabid

Symptoms of rabies in animals include:

  • Lethargy
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Difficulty moving or walking/paralysis
  • Unusual or extreme aggression
  • Eating or chewing objects, like wood, soil, stones, plants or other unusual materials
  • Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Abnormal behavior, like a wild animal that doesn’t shy away from humans         

Call 311 for assistance by phone

3. Animal Control NYC – Raccoons

Animal Control NYC
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Most raccoons in NYC

You might notice raccoons in day time or night time. If you notice them out during the day, don’t automatically assume that they are dangerous, or that they are carrying rabies.

Most raccoons pose no risk of transferring disease to humans. The incidence of rabies in the New York City raccoon population is actually very small.

Do not feed racoons

Don’t feed raccoons. They can become a problem when people supply food and/or shelter.

They are attracted by food in:

  • Gardens
  • Pet feeders
  • Garbage
  • Compost
  • Certain plants

If you get bitten by a raccoon

If you are bitten or scratched by a raccoon:

Raccoons in NYC

Raccoons often make their homes in urban areas and live there because of the amount of food that is available. Finding that raccoons are living around homes in New York City is not that unusual.

Raccoons usually live in dens in hollow trees, but in urban areas:

  • They can also live in garages
  • Abandoned buildings
  • Rock piles
  • Fireplace chimneys
  • Hollow walls
  • Attics
  • Beneath sewer drains

If you have a raccoon problem

If you have a raccoon issue, call a professional

  • Before taking measures to hire a licensed trapper, property owners should eliminate whatever food or shelter is attracting raccoons to their property
  • Block access to areas of your home, garage, or outdoor shed where raccoons might be trying to make their homes

For homeowners who need to a hire a licensed professional, the New York State DEC website has information on how to find a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator.

Raccoons are attracted to any home where food is available. You can take steps to keep raccoons and other wildlife from making a home around where you live by following these guidelines:

  • Do not feed pets outside
  • Purchase raccoon-proof garbage cans or put a weight on the lids of other garbage cans
  • Do not leave bags of garbage on the ground
  • Eliminate conditions on property that can be used as dens

4. Seeing Wildlife During Daytime

If you see a raccoon, opossum, skunk, or other wild animal during the day, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the animal has rabies.

If an animal appears healthy, it might just be unable to return to its den, or is just out looking for food. Healthy wildlife (especially raccoons) may look for food in the twilight hours, dusk and dawn.

If you leave them alone, healthy wildlife will eventually return to their dens.

You should always use caution around any wildlife and not approach them or try to touch them.

5. Animal Control NYC Nuisance Wildlife

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) does not capture or trap healthy wild animals, unless the animal appears to be rabid, or, if it has bitten a person or pet.

If healthy wildlife are a nuisance, you can call 411 or search the internet to find a wildlife removal service. 

ACC does not accept reports about healthy small wildlife, including: 

  • Chipmunks
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks
  • Squirrels
  • Turkeys

6. Wild, Stray or Injured Animal in a Park NYC

You can report wild, stray or injured animals in parks to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The City responds only to sick or injured wildlife or stray or injured animals in parks. 

DPR does not handle reports about healthy pigeons and squirrels.

Report a wild, stray, or injured animal in a park.

Report rats or mice in a park, or conditions that might attract them.

7. Removing Wildlife from a Park NYC

You can report the removal of any animal from a City park, greenstreet, or mall to the Department of Parks and Recreation. Removing wildlife from parks is strictly prohibited.

8. Animal Control NYC Report a Deer, Coyote, or Fox

You can report a deer, coyote, or fox in New York City through Wildlife NYC.

This form is only to report healthy wildlife observations.

It is for reporting purposes only, and submissions will not generate a direct response.

If you have a question about wildlife or if you see an injured animal, call 311.

If there is a wildlife related emergency, including car/animal collisions or animal bites, call 911.

9. Stray or Lost Dog, or Injured Wildlife NYC

During normal business hours, Animal Care Centers of NYC accepts reports of large injured wildlife (like deer), stray or abandoned dogs, or wandering dogs that appear to be lost pets. 

You may also bring a lost dog to a Care Center drop-off location. For injured wildlife, you can find a NYS licensed wildlife rehabilitator on NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Always use caution when near stray animals or wildlife.


Visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance by phone

10. Animal Care Center Drop off 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

Animal Care Centre Locations

Manhattan Animal Care Center

326 East 110th Street (between 1st and 2nd Aves.)
New York, NY 10029

Hours of Operation: Open for adoptions every day, 12pm – 5pm.

Map & Directions

Brooklyn Animal Care Center

2336 Linden Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11208

Hours of Operation: Open for adoptions every day, 12pm – 5pm.

Map & Directions

Staten Island Care Center

3139 Veterans Road West
Staten Island
, NY 10309
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Open for adoptions Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Map & Directions

Bronx Resource Center

464 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458

Hours of Operation:
Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Map & Directions

CLOSED: Queens Resource Center

Frequently Asked Questions

12. Who do you call for animal abuse in NYC?

To report animal cruelty in NYC, call 311. If you witness crimes still in progress, call 911. The ASPCA NYC facilities provide recovery and rehabilitation for animal victims. This includes animals involved in cruelty investigations. The public can anonymously provide information about animal cruelty crimes in NYC.

The NYPD takes the lead role in responding to all animal cruelty complaints in New York City, while the ASPCA directly cares for animal cruelty victims by providing critical support including forensic evaluations, medical treatment, behavior assessments, housing and placement, as well as backup legal support and training. For cases that are not pursued criminally, but where the ASPCA identifies a pet owner in need of assistance, our Community Engagement team can provide resources to help owners maintain a safe and healthy environment for their pets. 


13. Who to Call to Pick up Stray Cats in NYC?

Healthy Adult Cat

ACC does not capture or trap healthy, stray, or roaming cats and they do not accept reports about healthy mother cats that are still taking care of their kittens. Leave mother cats with kittens where they are.

Kittens will leave their mothers when they can take care of themselves.

If you are able to safely contain the animal and are unable to provide vet care, you can call the general number 212-788-4000 and/or email to arrange a time when you can bring the cat in.

Bringing in a stray cat might not be in his/her best interest if the cat appears healthy and thriving in the community. If the animal has ID, you can contact the owner directly. You can bring an animal to most veterinary hospitals to scan the animal for a microchip.

You can also register the cat in ACC’s found pets database.

Register a found pet.

If an animal comes as a stray, ACC will hold the animal for 72 hours. During that time, they will search through different databases for any reports of lost animals, looking for one that might fit the description. If no one claims him or her after the holding period, he/she will receive a Placement Evaluation to determine the next steps.


ACC will accept a report by phone if you have found kittens that seem to be orphaned. You can also bring lost kittens to a Care Center drop-off location. Email to make an appointment.

In emergencies…

If it is a medical emergency, you can bring an orphaned kitten to a Care Center location. Make sure you call ahead to make sure it’s open and that staff will be available.

Use caution if you choose to help a kitten. Remember not to separate kittens from their mother. If you don’t see the mother, monitor the situation from a distance over several hours. Try to bring in a mother with her kittens whenever possible.

Make a Report to ACC

Call 311 for assistance by phone

14. Where Can I Surrender My Cat for Free?

If You Must Give Up Your Pet…

If you cannot keep your pet or find them a new home, ACC will accept the pet. ACC charges a relinquishment fee of $10 per animal with an appointment, or $35 without an appointment. If you cannot afford to pay the fee, be sure to tell the ACC representative up front.

If you do not need to relinquish your pet immediately, you can try to reach out to other local animal shelters or rescue groups. Remember that many organizations have waiting lists to accept new animals into their adoption programs.

To request an appointment with a shelter or rescue group for an assessment of your pet, send an email with a good photo and video of your pet, if possible.

Provide a brief description that includes their name, age, weight, and whether your pet has been spayed or neutered, and whether they are up to date on their vaccinations.

Be sure to include your email address and phone number. You don’t need to go into a long explanation.

Suggested organizations to try:

Animal Haven (dogs & cats)
Phone: (212) 274-8511

ASPCA (dogs & cats)
Phone: (212) 876-7700, x5

Bideawee (dogs & cats)
Phone: 1-866-262-8133

The Humane Society of New York (dogs & cats)
Phone: (212) 752-4842

Posh Pets Rescue (dogs & cats)

Sean Casey Animal Rescue (dogs & cats)

Muddy Paws (dogs only)

Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition (cats only)

KittyKind (cats only)

Email: inquiries@kittykind.orgCity Critters, Inc. (cats only)

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC)

If you think you need to surrender your pet, you can contact the Owner Surrender Service at Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC). They will never turn away a pet in need. But, they will first try to work with pet owners to see if a solution exists to help keep pets in their homes.

PAWS NY services are designed to help people overcome physical and financial limitations while caring for their pets.  If you are a senior or someone with an illness or disability, and you are struggling with the day-to-day care of your pet, PAWS NY might be able to help.  PAWS NY’s focus is on physical assistance. They are unable to provide financial assistance. They evaluate each client on a case-by-case basis and offer their services accordingly.

15. What is Considered Animal Neglect in NY?

As per the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals, New York State law defines animal cruelty as a situation where someone causes unjustified harm, pain, or suffering to an animal. Or, when someone neglects an animal’s care. This can be done by failing to provide the animal with adequate food, water, medical care, or shelter. The New York Police Department (NYPD) investigates animal cruelty complaints citywide.

16. How Do I Report Animal Abuse Anonymously?

In New York City

If you live in New York City and want to report suspected animal abuse or neglect, please contact 311 or for crimes in progress, call 911.

In Other Areas

For other areas outside of New York City, if you witness a crime in progress, call 911.

If you suspect someone is abusing or neglecting animals, contact the agency responsible for enforcing the animal-related laws where you think the abuse is occurring.

That may be the local police, animal control, SPCA or other local humane organization. If you are unsure who to contact, you can contact your local police or animal control to find out, or you can refer to other online resources, such as


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Sam is an experienced writer, advocate for people with disabilities and mental health, dog lover, artist, philosopher, and generally complicated human being.

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