Hempstead Town officials have issued summonses to the East Rockaway owner of a wallaby, a town spokesman said.
The wallaby was found emaciated and starving last month in a garage on Seawane Road by the Nassau County SPCA, and is being nursed back to health at Mineola Animal Hospital.
Last week, the town’s building department issued owner Larry Wallach summonses for harboring the wallaby and a ball python; construction without a permit for an in-ground pool; and no certificate of completion for central air conditioning units, town spokesman Mike Deery said.
Wallach is due to appear in First District Court in Hempstead on April 20. He could not be reached for comment.
Town code prohibits residents from harboring animals that are considered wild in their natural habitats; if convicted, the fine for each count would be between $1,000 and $2,500. The wallaby is a smaller cousin to the kangaroo and an Australia native.
SPCA spokesman Gary Rogers said that Wallach has voluntarily surrendered the wallaby to the organization, and that it will be moved to an animal sanctuary once it recovers. The ball python was about 3 to 4 feet long and had been cared for properly, he said.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture filed a complaint against Wallach. He allegedly violated the Animal Welfare Act in several states between 2008 and 2011. The complaint addressed the treatment of several exotic animals, including a wallaby housed in a small enclosure. It was dismissed as the parties engaged in a settlement.