Kentucky bill would let service monkeys help paralyzed people - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Kentucky bill would let service monkeys help paralyzed people

Posted: Updated:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky legislators may soon debate whether to allow service monkeys to assist paralyzed adults with simple household tasks.

A northern Kentucky lawmaker has introduced the bill at the request of a family that looked into bringing in a service monkey to assist their daughter, who was paralyzed in an automobile accident. The family found out Kentucky prohibits the use of service monkeys.

"Like all families do, they were searching for ways to help," Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, said in a recent interview.


You might also like...

COLD: Snow Hammers Mid-Atlantic, Northeast!!!

WTF: Fined $1000 For Feeding Birds !!!

UPDATE: Bodies Found Near DC University!!!

SHOCK: Bull Sharks Caught Near DC!!!!


Like us on Facebook

Monkeys aren't recognized as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but some states have exemptions, Schickel said.

His bill has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee. Its chairman, Sen. Paul Hornback, said he's willing to bring the bill up for discussion.

"I don't know much about it myself," said Hornback, R-Shelbyville. "I'm going to try to read up on it."

The measure would restrict monkeys to in-home use and would not allow them to assist their owners in public places.

Soon after the bill was introduced, critics swung into action in hopes of blocking the measure.

"Monkeys do not belong in human homes, whether as pets or service animals," said Sarah Baeckler Davis, executive director of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance.

She said monkeys are wild animals that need to socialize with their own kind.

"Private situations simply do not meet these needs, and this creates a significant public safety concern," she said.

April D. Truitt, founder and executive director of the Primate Rescue Center, based in Nicholasville in central Kentucky, said the bill is well intentioned but misguided. She said it could expose both monkeys and their human owners to potential harm.

"Monkeys are not domesticated animals," she said. "They cannot be made so in one generation or 20."

The Primate Rescue Center is home to more than 50 "unwanted" monkeys and apes, including cast-offs from "helper" training programs, she said.

The Kentucky family had reached out to the group Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers in hopes of arranging for a service monkey. Since 1979, the Boston-based nonprofit organization has trained capuchin monkeys to help paralyzed adults with simple household tasks.

Hellion, the first monkey it placed as a helper, spent some 28 years with its human companion until the man died in 2007, the group said on its website.

"We have 35 years' worth of history in our organization saying that they can provide service and they can be safe and wonderful companions to people in need," said Megan Talbert, the group's executive director.

The organization tries to place eight to 12 monkeys in homes across the country each year, at no cost to recipients, Talbert said. The group's work is supported by individual donors and foundation grants, she said.

Capuchin monkeys are small, only reaching 6 to 8 pounds in adulthood, she said.

The monkeys go through several years of training to perform repetitive tasks in homes, such as picking up dropped items, flipping on light switches, turning pages of books and helping their owners get drinks of water, she said. They are never trained to do personal care needs, she said.

"They do provide great companionship to their recipients as well," Talbert said. "They bond with their recipients."

Schickel said he's sure other Kentuckians besides the family in his district could potentially benefit from his legislation. He said he hopes his bill opens discussion about the topic, but doesn't know whether the proposal will make it through the General Assembly this year.

"I know there are a lot of questions about this bill," he said. "I don't know if it's possible or not."

The Commonwealth Journal in Somerset reported recently that a Pulaski County woman was cited for having a capuchin monkey in her home. The same woman also was cited in 2012 for purchasing a monkey to be a service companion for her autistic son.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic

    Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:48:06 GMT
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year. Health Secretary Ana Rius said that more than 200 cases had been confirmed on the island as of June 25 and that the majority of them were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas. The first case of chikungunya in the U.S. territory was reported in late May. Also on Thursday, ...
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year. Health Secretary Ana Rius said that more than 200 cases had been confirmed on the island as of June 25 and that the majority of them were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas. The first case of chikungunya in the U.S. territory was reported in late May. Also on Thursday, ...
  • Couple and baby miss Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over Ukraine

    Couple and baby miss Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over Ukraine

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:47 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:47:36 GMT
    Imagine how you would feel if you were supposed to be on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over eastern Ukraine on Thursday but changed your flight for a later time?
    Imagine how you would feel if you were supposed to be on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over eastern Ukraine on Thursday but changed your flight for a later time?
  • Company sets limits on how long workers can use bathroom

    Company sets limits on how long workers can use bathroom

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 11:02 AM EDT2014-07-16 15:02:02 GMT
    Should an employer have any say in how much time you spend in the bathroom on company time? According to an article on CNN.com, Chicago's Watersaver Faucet Company installed swipe card systems on bathrooms at their factory in an attempt to limit bathroom breaks to 6 minutes or less. WaterSaver disciplined nineteen workers for what they call "excessive use" of washrooms. FOX 5’s Wisdom Martin has more. READ MORE: http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/15/smallbusiness/bathroom-time-penalty/
    Should an employer have any say in how much time you spend in the bathroom on company time? According to an article on CNN.com, Chicago's Watersaver Faucet Company installed swipe card systems on bathrooms at their factory in an attempt to limit bathroom breaks to 6 minutes or less. WaterSaver disciplined nineteen workers for what they call "excessive use" of washrooms. FOX 5’s Wisdom Martin has more. READ MORE: http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/15/smallbusiness/bathroom-time-penalty/
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices