Monkeys approved as service animals in Topeka

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TOPEKA, Kan. — The Topeka City Council approved a plan to authorize the use of service monkeys, after a man with a spinal injury requested the action.

The monkey helps the 28-year-old man, who does not have use of his hands due to a car accident. A director from the Disability Rights Center of Kansas told the council that monkeys help the man flip light switches and turn on the television, among other tasks.

“There is a group in Massachusetts that trains monkeys to be service animals and before they would agree to let him have one they wanted to make sure that it was legal in the city and the state,” said Denise Everhart, Topeka City Council member. “We found that in the city we needed to change the ordinance so that he could do that.”

The service monkeys would only be allowed in the home of the person using it and must come from a non-profit group trained to deal with them.

City council members had delayed an earlier vote on the matter because of an email they received from a Humane Society member.

Click here to read more on that in The Topeka Capitol Journal.

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