Kentucky legislators may soon debate whether to allow service monkeys to assist paralyzed adults with simple household tasks. A Kentucky lawmaker has introduced the bill at the request of a family that looked into bringing in a service monkey to assist their daughter, who is paralyzed. The family found out Kentucky prohibits the use of service monkeys.
Monkeys aren’t recognized as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but some states have exemptions, Representative Schickel said. His bill would restrict monkeys to in-home use and would not allow them to assist their owners in public places. After the bill was introduced, critics swung into action.
“Monkeys do not belong in human homes, whether as pets or service animals,” said Sarah Baeckler Davis, executive director of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance. According to Baeckler monkeys are wild animals that need to socialize with their own kind.
April D. Truitt, founder and executive director of the Primate Rescue Center, said the bill is well intentioned but misguided. She said it could expose both monkeys and their human owners to potential harm. “Monkeys are not domesticated animals,” she said. The Primate Rescue Center is home to more than 50 “unwanted” monkeys and apes, including cast-offs from “helper” training programs, according to Truitt.
The Kentucky family had reached out to the group Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers in hopes of arranging for a service monkey. Hellion, the first monkey it placed as a helper, spent some 28 years with its human companion until the man died in 2007.
“We have 35 years’ worth of history in our organization saying that they can provide service and they can be safe and wonderful companions to people in need,” said Megan Talbert, the group’s executive director.
“The organization tries to place eight to 12 monkeys in homes across the country each year. Capuchin monkeys are small, only reaching 6 to 8 pounds. The monkeys go through years of training to perform repetitive tasks, such as picking up dropped items, flipping on light switches, turning pages of books and helping their owners get drinks of water. They are never trained to do personal care needs,” she said. “They provide great companionship to their recipients as well,” Talbert continued.
“I know there are a lot of questions about this bill,” Schickel said. “I don’t know if it’s possible or not.”
“Smart” High-tech Dog Collar
Ahigh-tech collar attachment that will allow pet owners to monitor their dogs at a distance, checking how much they sleep and how many calories they are burning, was unveiled in Japan. NTT Docomo, the country’s largest mobile phone operator, said the new gadget would give smartphone users peace of mind about the animal’s health and whereabouts at all times.
The “Petfit” tag, complete with a satellite positioning system, sends information to a designated mobile phone on whether a dog is sleeping, walking or running. It also monitors how many steps a hound has taken, what the ambient temperature is and whether or not he’s getting enough shut-eye.
Petfit went on sale in March priced at 25,900 yen ($253), including data transmission fees for the first year.
7ft. 4in. & Still Growing!
Relaxing imperiously on the sofa, Freddy the Great Dane leaves no room to doubt who is top dog in Claire Stoneman’s home. For at 7ft. 4in. standing on his hind legs, he is thought to be Britain’s tallest dog–and he hasn’t finished growing yet.
At 18 months old, he measures 41 inches from his paws to his withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades) and only needs to grow a few more inches to lay claim to the title of the world’s tallest dog.
The Guinness World Record is currently held by Zeus, a four-year-old Great Dane from Michigan, US, who is 44 inches tall–the size of a donkey. As for Freddy, he now weighs 11st. 2lb. and costs 75 a week to feed. As a puppy he had a taste for sofas–and demolished 14 before realizing how comfortable they are.
His daily 40-minute walk takes place early in the morning–so they won’t meet other dogs who might be intimidated by him. “If he wants to run after a dog I wouldn’t be able to stop him,” said Stoneman, who is 5ft. 4in. tall.
In stark contrast, the world’s smallest dog is a Chihuahua called Miracle Milly, who is 3.8in. tall, weighs 1lb. and sleeps in a doll’s crib.
Behaviorists: Dogs Feel No Shame Despite The Look
Like Pet Gazette readers didn’t already know this, anyway… The next time you start shaking your finger and shouting “Shame on you!” because your dog chewed up your favorite fuzzy slippers, just remember that no matter how guilty your dog looks, it doesn’t know what your rant is about. Behaviorists insist dogs lack shame. The guilty look–head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy–is a reaction to the tantrum you are throwing now over the damage they did hours earlier.
“Just get over it and remind yourself not to put temptation in the way next time,” said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor of Veterinary Medicine and executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
But scientific findings have not put a dent in the popularity of online dog shaming sites like dogshaming.com and shameyourpet.com or videos like those posted on youtube.com/crackrockcandy. In the photos and videos, dogs wear humorous written “confessions” and often are surrounded by the remnants of their misdeeds. There is no question that in some photos, they look guilty of eating, drinking, chewing, licking or destroying something they shouldn’t have.
“We don’t think dogs actually feel shame but instead think they know how to placate us with this sad puppy-dog look that makes us think they’re ashamed of what they’ve done” said one such site’s spokesman.
Dr Beaver thinks the online dog shaming memes are all in good fun. “People come for a laugh and camaraderie,” the spokesman said. “They see that their dog isn’t the only one who does awful things. People don’t shame their dogs out of anger, they do it out of love.”
Cat Escapes, Returns 8 Years Later
Jesse, a family cat who ran away eight years ago, has returned home. The tomcat was only 18 months old when he smashed his way out of a cat carrier and ran into the street during a trip to the veterinarian.
The family searched the area for days and put up missing cat posters. Sadly, there was no sign of their runaway. But recently, they received a call from the vet’s office. The feline had been spotted hanging around the animal hospital by another client. Soon the cat was identified through his microchip.
“We have no idea where Jesse has been for eight years, but we are so happy to have him back,” Corbett said.
Now the runaway feline is adjusting to life in his old home again, and the family says they are spoiling him rotten.
“At first he didn’t appear to recognize us. But now that he’s been in the same house with everyone for a week, he’s beginning to realize who we are,” Corbett said.