Missouri woman fighting to keep emotional support monkeys

U.S. & World

CREVE COEUR, Missouri (CNN) — A Missouri woman is embroiled in a fight.

Not just for her beloved pet monkeys, but she said for her longterm mental well-being.

Her neighbors, though, see things differently, saying the monkeys are a threat to their safety.

Kallie Anna is one of three monkeys living in Texanne McBride-Teahan’s Creve Coeur home.

“She’s a Bonnet Macaque and she’s eight,” McBride-Teahan said of Kallie Anna.

All the monkeys are registered as emotion support animals to help McBride-Teahan with her PTSD.

“It’s a wild animal,” said Jim Hentschell, who lives next door. “They belong in zoos, you know, or in their natural habitat.”

Hentschell and other neighbors are upset about the monkeys, worried they might attack.

Residents brought up the animals at this week’s city council meeting, where McBride-Teahan defended her animals.

“They are not dangerous animals,” she said at the meeting. “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 McBride-Teahan.

According to a note from her doctor, “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,” Hentschell said. “If they are considered a dangerous animal and can carry something as nasty as hepatitis, they shouldn’t be here.”

McBride-Teahan said 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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