It's become a familiar sight, smell and sound for residents of Pommer Avenue on Staten Island: a 12-year-old mare named Morgie clip-clopping up and down the street.
"I hear the horse sometimes, he goes out for a ride,” says Rochelle Maltz, who lives around the corner. “He's better behaved than some of our neighbors."
The horse belongs to Brooklyn coffee shop owner Abdul Elenani, who moved to Pommer Avenue in August, and added the horse a short time later.
He's ridden Morgie in the neighborhood and even to a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru.
We reported Wednesday on Morgie's presence on the quiet Staten Island block, and how some residents are upset she lives among them.
But we wanted to know, in the nation's largest city, a metropolis known for excessive regulations, can you actually keep a horse at home?
We went right to the top.
"Did you say a horse?” Mayor de blasio said at a press conference Thursday. “I don't know, I don't know actually if it's legal. I assume it is not legal, but we'll find out."
Well, hold your horses, Mr. Mayor!
The city Department of Health says Morgie can stay. A spokesman tells us anyone who owns property can keep a horse on it as long as it's used for recreation.
Even more surprising: No permit is necessary.
Elenani's neighbor Steve Coyne says that's crazy.
"Just because something's legal to do doesn't mean you should do it. Or if you can do it, if it affects 30 other people, I want a horse and screw everybody else in the neighborhood," says Coyne.
The Health Department visited Elenani's home Thursday, the morning after our story.
The department tells us the inspector found that Morgie and a goat also living there are in good physical shape.
But Elenani was told he'll have to get rid of the goat because they are illegal.
And he was fined for not having proof of updated rabies vaccinations for Morgie.
Neighbor Carol Hooper tells NY1, "I love horses; I love goats. I love that; I think it's beautiful. I just don't know if this is the right block? I don't know if there's enough space, and there are some issues. The smell!"
The Health Department says it can still fine Elenani if it finds conditions that might attract rodents or other pests, like manure that hasn't been properly discarded.
Elenani says he cleans the manure every two days.
Coyne now says he's got a decision to make: He can pursue legal action, or sell his house.
In the meantime, Elenani tells us he's planning to get a second horse.