Steve Coyne has called Staten Island home for more than 20 years. He's seen a lot living in New York City, but says he was dumbfounded when he came home one day in August and discovered he had a new neighbor next door: a horse.
Coyne lives so close to the horse, he says he can reach out his window and pet it.
Days later, he says, a goat appeared. Ever since, he's been trying to rein in the situation.
"Anybody who lives on the block with half a brain in their head, you know, they're not into this,” said Coyne. “This is definitely not increasing our property values by any means, and it's just kind of crazy. It's a quality of life thing."
The horse, a 12-year-old Chestnut Mare named Morgie, belongs to Abdul Elenani, who owns coffee shops in Brooklyn.
Elenani says he grew up around horses and bought a home on Pommer Avenue this summer because it had space for Morgie.
Every afternoon, he saddles her up for a ride. One day, though, he even went to a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, where he tried to buy an iced coffee while ridding horseback.
When Elenani and Morgie are done crisscrossing Staten Island's busy North Shore, they come back to the makeshift stable he built for her.
"When people come here and they see a horse, when we had the national grid guy come yesterday to open the gas for upstairs, he froze for like five minutes,” Elanani said. “He's like, ‘Is that a real horse?’ I'm like, ‘Yeah.’"
The goat lives in an enclosure on the back deck, but has been known to escape.
Elenani says the city Health Department just told him the goat has to go.
"It's not legal to have a goat; I just found out today," said Elenani.
But residents on the quiet Staten Island block are upset the city has done nothing about Morgie.
Since the horse showed up about six weeks ago, residents have lodged dozens of complaints with 311, focusing on the smell, the manure, the mosquitos, the flies and the noise.
"In the middle of the night, you get, ‘neighhhh,’ and I mean the first couple of times I thought I left Mr. Ed on TVLand,” said Coyne. “And I'm like, ‘Is this really happening?’ And its all, like I said, this whole thing has been somewhat surreal. And even just seeing him gallop away, I'm like, ‘Is this really happening?’ I'm starting to doubt my sanity."
It’s not clear how the Health Department responded to the complaints. In response to our questions, the agency tells us it is looking into the matter.