Woman fights to keep emotional-support monkeys

National

CREVE COEUR, Mo. (WKRG/CNN) — A Missouri woman is embroiled in a fight not just for her beloved pet monkeys, but she says for her longterm mental well-being.

Her neighbors see it differently. They say the monkeys are a threat to their safety.

Texanne McBride-Teahan has three monkeys living in her home. All are registered as emotional-support animals to help with her PTSD.

“It’s a wild animal. They belong in zoos. You know, or in their natural habitat,” neighbor Jim Hentschell said.

Hentschell lives next door. His neighbors are so upset about the monkeys — worried they might attack — they brought it up at this week’s city council meeting, where Texanne defended her animals.

“They are not dangerous animals,” Texanne said. “They are trained. They assist me. I have PTSD because of something that happened to me, a very bad thing that happened to me a long time ago.”

According to the city of Creve Coeur, ‘non-human primates’ are considered ‘inherently dangerous animals’ along with lions, alligators and pythons, so none are allowed in residential areas. That’s why the city cited Texanne.

According to a note, Texanne’s doctor says ‘I have prescribed Ms. McBride-Teahan to keep one or more primates to serve as emotional support animals. It is my professional opinion that the presence of these animals is a necessary treatment for the mental health of Ms. McBride-Teahan.’

“I believe in the rule of law. If they are considered a dangerous animal and can carry something as nasty as hepatitis, they shouldn’t be here,” Hentschell said.

Texanne says her monkeys would never hurt anyone and bring her so much comfort. She has a court hearing in November where a judge will decide what will happen to the monkeys.

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