Who says cops don’t have a sense of humor?

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

A pig dressed like a cop. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Even in New York City.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a recent sighting of one generated a lot of attention. It even made the news.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

As News 4 reported,  the little pig spotted by the Apple Store in Soho “belonged to a young woman,” and its outfit “seemed fit for purpose, with utility pockets and identifying badge.”

Apparently some bystanders — including some of New York’s Finest, — enjoyed meeting the little guy.

Witnesses told the media that  the NYPD officers “were amused by the curly-tailed member of the force.”

“They were all laughing,” one witness said.

“There were lots of people entertained by this little piggy.”

The letter of the law

It’s a good thing the officers had a sense of humor. After all,  having a pet pig is against the law in New York City. It’s also illegal to keep sheep, goats and “most farm animals” as pets in Gotham. City regulations also prohibit the ownership of:

  • Venomous spiders including but not limited to tarantulas and black widows
  • Various monkeys and apes
  • Large/predatory birds
  • Various large and venomous snakes including vipers
  • Various types of lizards
  • Various reptiles and amphibians
  • Wild/predatory dogs and cats
  • Squirrels, racoon and bats
  • Venomous insects

In other words, you can’t keep a wild, exotic, or potentially dangerous animal as a pet in New York City. And with good reason.

Some people just don’t get it…

But some New Yorkers just don’t get it. Or if they do, they don’t care.

According to published reports, the city’s Health Department issued nearly 300 tickets to offenders in one five-year period.

Administrative judges preside in cases when New Yorkers accused of keeping banned pets choose to fight the tickets. And many do. But losing can be costly, with fines ranging from a few hundred bucks to a few grand.

Of course, we all have choices. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Oh, rats! Feral cats now on the job in NYC

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Ah, New York City. Gotham. The Big Apple. It is globally known for its imposing yet beautiful skyline, its culture, its nightlife, its tourist attractions, its sports teams, its subway system, the collective “attitude” of its residents — and its rats.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Yes, you heard me. Rats. Big, mean, scary rats — well, according to urban legends at any rate. There are millions of them. In fact, a 2014 estimate published in a New York Times article indicated that New York City’s rat population totaled roughly 2 million — give or take a few. Although that article was supposed to debunk the myth that there’s a rat for every New Yorker (which would put the total at approximately 8 million), New York City still ranks as the worst “rat city” in the world.

But never fear! According to published reports, feral cats are coming to the rescue.

Yes, I’m serious.

As the website nymag.com reports in an Oct. 23 article, “Volunteers with the NYC Feral Cat Initiative are working to repurpose some of the city’s population of as many as half-a-million stray cats as feline special forces in the war against the rats.”

Citing accounts from other media outlets, nymag.com explains that the group, “is working to trap wild cat colonies throughout New York, spay or neuter the animals, and when the cats can’t be adopted or returned to the place they were trapped, the group will try to relocate them to areas in need of rodent control.”

So far, it seems to be working. One group of feral cats “assigned” to the loading dock area at the Jacob Javits convention center a few years back has reportedly been highly effective. Today four cats from that group remain on the job. The rest found new homes with some of the center’s employees or with visitors.

The program isn’t unique to New York. Similar efforts are ongoing in large cities elsewhere in the United States.

Historically, shopkeepers throughout the world have also kept cats to control rodents — a practice that continues in New York City today. And we all know about “barn cats” that help fend off rodents in rural areas. What you might not know is that in World War I, cats took to the trenches and ships to hunt rodents.

So the bottom line is that when it comes to putting feral cats “to work” in New York City, no one is reinventing the wheel. But I still think the idea is genius… and so does Eli.

Next in NYC – pleas for ‘knife control’

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Those of you who have been following this blog for any length of time know quite a bit about me by now. You know I love animals, I have a cat named Eli, I live near New York City and I volunteer at a local animal shelter. You also know I’m divorced, my ex-husband is transgender and I’ve written a book.

To be honest, that’s probably way more than you want to know. But there’s more.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m also tough on crime and I have a lot of friends who are cops. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m not a big fan of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio or New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

The mayor’s blatant lack of respect for law enforcement is reprehensible. His recent statements about gun control and its impact on crime are misguided at best. Bratton’s comments about the  vicious stabbings and slashings plaguing the City are both insensitive and disturbing.

Taking A Stab At It

In a recent article in the New York Daily News, Bratton happily took credit for a reduction in gun crimes, but seemed unconcerned about the use of other weapons.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

“Slashings and stabbings aren’t going away,” Bratton told the Daily News. “But I’m confident that over time, (like) just about everything else we focus on around here, they will go down.”

Really? That’s all you have to say, commissioner? Is that supposed to be reassuring? Am I supposed to believe you? Well, here’s a newsflash for you: I don’t. In fact, I think you’re full of it. And that’s putting it mildly.

The fact of the matter is, there have been hundreds of attacks involving the use of knives, razors and similar weapons in New York City so far this year. The unpleasant truth is, it is now happening more than it has in the past. And to add insult to injury, Bratton and de Blasio just don’t seem to give a damn.

Jumping the Gun?

But perhaps I’m being a bit hasty. Maybe I should give the “dynamic duo” the benefit of the doubt. From what I’ve read, there’s now a nifty new plan in place called “Operation Cutting Edge” that’s supposed to combat the problem. Maybe it will actually work. We’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I’ve got an even better idea. Let’s implement a universal  “knife control”  policy in the Big Apple. The mayor and the rest of the “nanny state” can have fun creating and forcing all sorts of new laws on New Yorkers. These would limit the use of sharp objects including but not limited to bread knives, steak knives, butter knives, cake knives and so forth. Of course there would be an outright ban on the possession of switch blades, bowie knives, machetes and other such tools. The possession and use of all but electric razors would also be prohibited.

Of course I’m being sarcastic, but you never know. The way things are going in New York City, it might just come to that.