Last month, Maryland animal control officers seized a woman’s pet capuchin monkey from her house under the suspicion that her monkey was illegal according to Maryland’s wild animal law.
The owner said that Armani, her monkey, was born last May and would not be illegal because she had him before the law was put into effect. Authorities believed that the monkey was only five months old and that the woman bought him after the law was passed. Armani has been in temporary custody at the Catoctin Zoo.
A decision has finally been made in the custody case. The Montgomery County Animal Matters Board has decided to not give her pet monkey back. They ruled that Armani was only five months old and that his owner could not have owned him before May 2006. Armani’s owner plans to appeal the decision arguing the Montgomery authorities improperly mixed state and county wild-animal laws. She has also sued the Montgomery County Police for seizing Armani.
More about the custody case after the jump.
“They don’t care,” Gazewitz (Armani’s owner) said today. “He’s just a monkey to them. To me, he’s everything. My life is miserable.”
Montgomery police, who oversee the animal control division, said the ruling supported their contention that officers acted correctly.
“Our goal from the beginning was to uphold the law, to ensure the community’s safety, and to ensure the safety, health and well-being of the capuchin monkey,” police said in a statement.