How to Report Dead Animals in Public in New York City

By Christine Stoddard |

Illustration by Christine Stoddard.

More wild animals die during the winter than any time of year. So what do you do with a dead animal if you spot one in public in any of the five boroughs? According to 311, the official website of the City of New York, here’s the action you should take:

   • Call 911 if a dead animal is blocking traffic. For a dead animal that is not posing a threat to traffic, call 311 or 212-639-9675 for assistance.

   • Contact the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) if you find the dead animal on the street or sidewalk. There is a form on the 311 website at

   • For a dead animal sighting in a city park or public beach, report your complaint to the Department of Parks and Recreation, also through the 311 website. For a dead animal in a New York State or federal park, contact the park directly.

   • To report large groups of dead fish in a body of water, call the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Local Fish and Wildlife Division, at (631) 444-0714 during business hours.

   • To report a cluster of dead birds, call the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help. This includes 3 dead geese, swans, ducks, chickens, or turkeys, or 10 or more of other types of birds. Some of the birds may be collected for West Nile Virus testing.

   • The New York Police Department Harbor Unit will respond to reports of dead animals other than birds and fish spotted in large bodies of water, such as a river or bay. Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

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