Goats, boyfriends, UFOs: New York reveals bizarre hotline calls

New York’s non-emergency hotline is largely intended for noise complaints, rat sightings and enquiries about much-loathed alternate side parking rules.
But the 311 number has, in its 20 years in operation, also received its fair share of obscure enquiries that operators may have struggled to answer, the city has revealed.

“Can you tell me the steps for boiling a live chicken?” one caller asked, according to a list released Thursday to mark the service’s 20-year history.
Another wanted to know whether their dog could be claimed as a dependent on their taxes. “Can you check if my boyfriend is married?” was another request, as was, “Can you transfer me to a ufo-ologist?”

One caller wanted to know who won TV talent show American Idol while another informed the city that “a goat is tied to the stairwell in my building.” “A raccoon is eating lasagna on my porch,” also made the “calls to remember” list. The city said that 311 had received more than 525 million contacts by phone, text, social media posts and other means since it was launched in March 2003. Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement that the number had become “an indispensable resource for New Yorkers” over the past two decades. — AFP

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