A macaw - one of the legal exotic pets in NYC?|A snake which can be a legal pet in the Big Apple.|A tarantula on its owner's hand - not among the legal exotic pets in NYC.|Two fennec foxes hugging - ready to become a pet in New York.
A macaw - one of the legal exotic pets in NYC?|A snake which can be a legal pet in the Big Apple.|A tarantula on its owner's hand - not among the legal exotic pets in NYC.|Two fennec foxes hugging - ready to become a pet in New York.
NY lifestyle
May 19, 2018

Legal exotic pets in NYC

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New York City is well known as the place with the most ridiculous bans regarding pet ownership. And, if you’re an exotic pet lover, you’ve likely already headbutted the laws of the city a couple of times. If you’re not a local, though, but looking at our pet moving services NYC, we feel the need to warn you. Your furry or scaly friend just may not be allowed in the City of New York. Yes, even if you’re thinking that it’s legal in the State of New York. So, we wanted to give all exotic pet owners a heads up. Here are the legal exotic pets in NYC, each with a short introduction, if you’re considering buying one…

First, here is a bit of information about illegal pets in New York

A tarantula on its owner's hand - not among the legal exotic pets in NYC.

Spider owner - not among the legal exotic pets in NYC.As local NYC movers, we’ve had the chance to see numerous pet owners go into complete disarray when they realize that their pets are illegal. So, if you’re only buying one now or just relocating to New York we feel an obligation to give you a list. This is going to be just a bit of information regarding what isn’t legal to own in the Big Apple. Of course, when you’re checking out New York’s exotic pet shops you should ask the seller about the law, as well. So, here is our list:

  • Wild animals – a rule left a tad to the interpretation. Many pet owners have had the chance to wonder what exactly is considered a wild animal in NYC. And, to this day, it is a mystery to us as well. So, we always advise checking with a local vet before deciding that your exotic pet isn’t ‘wild’.
  • All dogs other than domesticated dogs – which includes a number of species. This is the law which makes wolves, foxes, coyotes, hyenas and many other species illegal to own as pets in NYC.
  • All cats other than domesticated cats – to prevent another Ming the tiger. If you have an unusual breed of a domesticated cat, it’s also a good idea to check with your vet. Then, when you’re certain it’s one of the legal exotic pets in NYC, call your interstate NY movers.
  • All fur-bearing mammals of the family Mustelidae – yes, ferrets included.
  • All squirrels – no matter how well-behaved they are.
  • Arachnida and Chilopoda – if you’re among the exotic pet lovers who like the creepy crawlies.

But, one of the legal exotic pets in NYC is the fennec fox

If you’re among the numerous exotic pet owners who love a small, furry friend with a bit of an eclectic side, this is the one. The only member of the fox family legal in New York it is a pleasure and privilege to own one. Fennec foxes are, though, legal exotic pets in NYC for a reason. Even tempered, without an aggressive streak and can almost be a substitute for a dog. If you haven’t had one before, here are the things you should know.

Two fennec foxes hugging - ready to become a pet in New York.

A fennec fox is one of the most rewarding pets - and it's legal in New York.They are curious, always getting into things, and love digging. A fennec fox is an animal which needs more than plenty of exercises. It will definitely keep you busy after a long day of work in NY. These legal exotic pets in the Big Apple are quick and extremely difficult to get back once they take off. So, be careful about letting your friend off the leash! They are a good indoor pet, as well, as they can easily get used to a kennel.On the topic of moving house with a fennec fox, we won’t bore you too much. If you’ve ever tried relocating with a dog, it will be quite similar. The only reminder is to remember that they’re extremely quick. If not, you may end up chasing it around the neighborhood.

Another exotic pet to own in New York can be from the family of snakes

A snake which can be a legal pet in the Big Apple.

Snakes are legal in NYC - but only a few!Among the favorites of all exotic pet owners are snakes. Reptilian species, however, are one of the most numerous groups in the NYC law ban. Due to previous incidents with pythons and boas, constrictor snakes are forbidden. Also, venomous reptiles aren’t legal exotic pets in NYC. No, even if their venom has been drained, they are still banned. Unfair? We agree. However, this is the reality. If you’re not sure about which species are allowed, check out the full list of illegal pets in NYC. If you don’t find your pet on it, here’s some advice about moving with a snake.First and foremost, remember that your exotic pet can get stressed during the move. We suggest trying to keep the snake away from the noise and the mess of movers. So, if you’ve got a room which you’re packing last, this is the place for the terrarium at this point. Then, when actually transporting the snake, use a sturdy box with good ventilation. Keep wet towels on hand in case your exotic pet gets dehydrated. After you get to your new home, set up the vivarium how it used to be and leave your pet in the same environment for at least three weeks. It’s a sure way to keep this member of legal exotic pets in NYC safe when relocating.

If you’re an exotic pet lover, you might consider having a lizard as a pet

Owning a lizard is another popular choice. And, while reptiles are the species which NYC has the most bans about, lizards aren’t the target of them. The only family which isn’t allowed inside the Big Apple are the Helodermatidae. So, if you own a regular lizard or two, you have one of the legal exotic pets in NYC. Though, like with most other reptiles, moving house with lizards isn’t easy. The guidelines we usually offer are quite similar to our advice on relocating with a snake. If your exotic pet is a lizard, though, the temperature is going to be the most difficult part. This is why we always suggest to owners a car trip to their new home, rather than traveling by air. With a thermometer, you can easily keep this NYC legal exotic pet safe.


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