Despite their popularity, cats and dogs seem to be old news. Hundreds of households in America are now called home by numerous pet monkeys, and the trend does not show signs of letting up anytime soon.
While their endless antics and human-like characteristics may have enticed many to welcome monkeys as pets, it seems that they have more to offer than just entertainment value.—they can also be trained to assist disabled people and make the latter’s lives easier. An article from The Telegraph provides more details about these furry helpers:
The average helper monkey will be acclimatised for seven years before beginning its role as an assistant. It will then do its job for anything between 20 and 30 years, two or three times the working life of the average dog. Like assistance dogs, the monkeys can be trained for a wide variety of roles: cleaning their handlers’ faces, turning the pages of a book, even preparing food in a microwave oven.
For quadriplegics and others in similar conditions, this offers an option that gives them a higher level of independence than having to rely on relatives and caregivers 24/7. Also, animal companions have been shown to lower stress levels and elevate mood, an important benefit for disabled people who might be finding it a challenge to come to terms with their situation.
While these benefits may be attractive, it can be easy to fall for the convenience of getting monkeys from illegal sellers. Those who are interested in opening their homes to these special mammals should only purchase monkeys for sale from experienced and certified breeders such as Poggi’s Animal House, which remains committed to taming and socializing their animals, making them suitable pets for responsible owners.
In addition, untrained baby monkeys are usually not ready yet to join human households, so those who want monkeys as pets or as assistants should carefully choose ones who have already been sufficiently trained and acclimatized to interact with people in various contexts.
Monkeys have long fascinated the public due to their similarities to the way human beings look and act. Their intelligence has been well-documented, but their capacity to provide assistance to disabled people brings to light their well-developed sense of compassion as well. When acquired through proper means, monkeys have the capacity to be useful companions and wonderful pets for many years to come.
(Source: Dogs for the Disabled and assistance animals: a friend for life, The Telegraph)