Woman suffering from PTSD fights to keep emotional support monkeys

Woman suffering from PTSD fights to keep emotional support monkeys

Many people who have survived a trauma, and come out the other side with serious psychological damage, know exactly how helpful emotional support animals can be.

Typically, these animals take the form of common domesticated pets: dogs, cats and rabbits. Their simple companionship can assist people suffering from mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.

However, a woman from Missouri has been fighting to keep the emotional support animals that she has raised for the last 20 years - which she claims have helped her manage post-traumatic stress disorder. So what's the big issue? Namely, that the animals in question are three monkeys.

Check out this news report about the dispute: 

Texanne McBride-Teahan keeps a trio of monkeys in her new home just outside of St Louis: a black-capped capuchin named Paula, a patas named Zoey, and a bonnet macaque named Kalie Anna.

She's never had any complaints about them in her prior address, but now concerned neighbours have petitioned Creve Coeur city council to force McBride-Teahan to give them up, alleging that the wild animals are dangerous.

Commenting on the situation in a recent interview with CNN, she stated: "Monkeys are little. Less than nine pounds. Pictures show they aren't dangerous. To me, they are lifesavers for my PTSD. We just want to live in peace."

An image of a macaque. Credit: Getty

But McBride-Teahan's next-door neighbour Jim Hentschell told KMOV-TV interviewers that: "They belong in zoos, you know, or in their natural habitat ... 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."

According to the official website of the Americans with Disabilities Act, emotional support animals are not classified as service animals, and thus are not privy to the same privileges when it comes to where they are permitted in public spaces.

The site states: "Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.  However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places.  You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws."
McBride-Teahan is scheduled to appear in court in November to resolve the issue.