Target: Kentucky State Senator John Schickel
Goal: Reject a bill suggesting monkeys be used as service animals
Kentucky State Senator John Schickel is planning to propose a bill that will allow monkeys to be used as service animals for disabled persons. Monkeys do not belong in peoples’ homes, nor are they an appropriate candidate for service animal training. Monkeys, of all kinds, are better left in their native environments.
As one woman who works with Kentucky’s Primate Resource Center states: “the intentions of this bill are honorable, but misguided.” Monkeys are wild animals; the risk of injury to the person, or the monkey, is too high to chance. The proposed bill would prohibit a service monkey from leaving its persons’ home, confining them to strictly a life of service. Schickel is open to discussion on the issue; he believes that monkeys would make excellent companions for disabled individuals, and are able to help out around the house, but he understands that many are opposed to this bill.
There are states that have allowed the use of trained monkeys as service animals. One organization, Boston’s Helping Hands Monkey Helpers, has successfully been training and placing service monkeys for decades. While success stories shine a positive light on Schickel’s proposal, they do not prove that monkeys thrive as service animals. Allowing more states to adopt monkey service animals is not conducive to a positive future for primates. Monkeys belong in the wild, with their own kind and in an environment they have successfully adapted to.
While Schickel means well, he must understand that the well-being of monkeys needs to be a priority. Helping the disabled is important, but so is staying in the best interest of monkeys. Let Shickel know that you oppose his proposed legislation by signing this petition.
Dear Kentucky State Senator John Schickel,
I am writing to oppose your proposed legislation of issuing service monkeys to disabled individuals. It is understood that you mean well, and your wish is to make the lives of disabled persons more enjoyable and accessible. I must disagree with your action in lieu of what a service life means for a monkey.
Monkeys are wild animals; they are unpredictable, energetic and intelligent. Monkeys deserve to live their lives within their natural habitats. These animals are capable of being trained, though there is no proof that they thrive in an urban setting. While proposing this bill, please consider the unnatural life service monkeys lead. There are many other positive options for humans with disabilities to live more accessible lives; please leave monkeys off of that list.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Stephen G. Johnson via Wikipedia