Woman Sues For Monkey Discrimination

To be fair, this is no ordinary monkey we are talking about — but a service monkey. Sort of.

A Springfield, Missouri woman is suing — wait for it — Wal-Mart for discriminating against her 10-year-old bonnet macaque named Richard, who she says was not allowed to accompany her to the mega-store.

The woman, Debby Rose, insists that she be admitted to the store with Richard because the pet helps her with her social anxiety disorder. In essence, Rose contends, Richard is a service animal — much like a seeing eye dog.

But the Springfield-Greene County Health Department sees things a little differently. Which of course means they’re getting their asses sued as well.

Keeping a close eye on this story:



4 responses to “Woman Sues For Monkey Discrimination

  1. aren’t, like, service animals…registered in some way?

  2. The US allows for service animal to enter any business, and can not be discriminated against. The US constitution, as of yet, does not specify which type of animal can or can not be a service animal. Un der the constitution what they are doing is discriminating against a handicap person. According to another article I read her monkey a registred with three different organizations that register service animals in her state. She is fully legal to own him. I hope that she wins her suit against Wal-Mart, and teaches them a lesson.

  3. Dr Barry L Marks

    If the monkey is registered as a “service animal” and the owner has some sort of note, card, permit, etc then I can see a suit.

    If not, then how does WalMart know if she’s just…monkey-ing around?

  4. The constitution applies to humans, not monkeys.

    The ADA applies to service animals, not emotional support or therapeutic animals. It also allows a service animal to be denied access if it poses a direct threat to public health/safety. http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm

    ‘‘[a]nimals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or promote emotional wellbeing are not service animals.’’ -U.S. Department of Justice

    They’re also planning to exclude exotic animals for service in 2009:
    ‘‘service animal’’ does not include wild animals (including nonhuman primates born in captivity)…” -U.S. Department of Justice


    Unfortunately anyone can register anything, including a potted plant, as a service animal if they are willing to pay unscrupulous organizations like SARA the required fee. They don’t even lay eyes on the animal and certify based solely on the owner saying it is a service animal.

    Thankfully the Health Department is on the ball and willing to stand up for the health and safety of the general public.

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