Loose farm animals in NYC: A brief history

A bull escaped in Queens on Feb. 21, 2017. It was one of several farm animals to get loose in the city over the years.
A bull escaped in Queens on Feb. 21, 2017. It was one of several farm animals to get loose in the city over the years. Photo Credit: Lianna Tarantin

Three goats, two sheep and a cow have all been rescued in the city this month, but they’re just the latest in a string of farm animals breaking loose in the five boroughs.

Animals that are definitely not house pets have been spotted on highways, on sidewalks and even on subway tracks. 

Though it’s not always clear exactly where the animals come from, they are often escaping slaughterhouses, police have said. 

Here’s a brief history of some of the farm animals running amok in the city.

March 24, 2019: Baby goat found in the Bronx

A goat was found by teenagers near the Bronx Zoo, according to reports. After it was brought to Animal Care Centers of NYC by police, it was transferred to Farm Sanctuary in upstate Watkins Glen, ACC said.

March 21, 2019: Sheep tied to tree in Brooklyn

A soaking wet sheep was found tied to a tree in Coney Island Creek Park in Brooklyn, the sanctuary that rescued him said. The animal was taken to Cornell University Nemo Farm Animal Hospital, representatives of Farm Sanctuary said.

The sheep was named Officer Cal, after one of the NYPD officers who rescued him from the park.

March 19, 2019: Calf on the Major Deegan

A loose calf was caught on the Major Deegan Expressway near Exit 6 in Highbridge, the Bronx, police said. The animal was named after the expressway and taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey. The calf, renamed Kristen, died of kidney failure on March 22, according to the sanctuary.

March 19, 2019: Goat wanders onto construction site

The same day the calf was rescued from the Major Deegan, a goat was found by construction workers after it escaped a Bronx slaughterhouse, Farm Sanctuary said. The workers brought the animal, later named Alondra, to Animal Care Centers of NYC and it was picked up by Tracey Stewart, Jon Stewart’s wife, who brought her to Farm Sanctuary.

March 16, 2019: Another goat in the Bronx

Another goat was found roaming in the Bronx just days before Alondra, according to the Animal Care Centers of NYC. The NYPD caught the animal and it was taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

March 13, 2019: Lamb on the Gowanus Expressway

A lamb, later named Petunia, was spotted running on the eastbound lanes of the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, the NYPD said. The animal was rescued and  taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

Aug. 20, 2018: Two goats roaming Brooklyn subway tracks

A pair of goats was caught grazing along N train tracks in Borough Park. The two “very baaaaad boys” were corralled by the MTA and the NYPD. Jon Stewart picked up the animals later and transferred them to Farm Sanctuary.

Oct. 17, 2017: Calf running through Brooklyn

A brown calf was captured in the fields of Prospect Park Parade Ground after running through the streets of Brooklyn. The calf ran into a 2-year-old girl in a stroller, causing her to fall out and cut her lip, police said at the time. 

The animal was taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

Feb. 21, 2017: Bull running through Queens

A black bull ran nearly two miles away from the slaughterhouse it escaped from in Queens. The animal died after it was corralled by police in the yard of a home in South Jamaica.

April 1, 2016: Steer escapes truck in Queens

A black and white steer escaped a truck that was going to  take it to a slaughterhouse in Queens. The NYPD caught the animal near York College in Jamaica, and it was picked up by Jon Stewart and his wife, who took it to Farm Sanctuary.

Jan. 21, 2016: Cow gets loose in Queens 

A black and white cow, named Freddie, escaped from a slaughterhouse in Queens and was caught in a parking garage in Jamaica. It was taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

Jan. 19, 2016: Goat running through Queens

A goat ran away from its home in Queens, the Daily News reported. After almost being hit by a car, it was caught by police and returned to the owner, according to the report.