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Ohio monkey makes a move

Barbara - many faces of sorrow
Barbara - many faces of sorrow
Photo courtesy of Peggy Rice - American Primate Haven

"Barbara," an Ohio snow macaque, made her way to safety since the new law went into effect. Due to Ohio law changing and extraneous regulations meant to make most unable to keep animals they've had for years, Barbara found a new home, one willing and able to accommodate her in every way possible.

At eighteen years old, it has been hard for her to acclimate and adjust to changes. Her owner, a sixty-eight year old Ohio woman, knew she could not meet the requirements and ongoing expense of insurance and other demands by the state. With many claims of animals being dumped in Ohio as a reason to ban, it's been enlightening to see how many owners are long residents of Ohio with animals well beyond the cute baby stage - another "reason" given by those pushing for bans.

Another claim by the organizations, such as HSUS, pushing for exotic bans claim people are not committed to a lifetime of care for the animals. When they are. it seems regulations are set so extravagantly high and costly as to hinder actual care and keeping the commitment for a lifetime. Those will and able to take in those needing a home are often treated as the enemy, simply for not belonging to club-like organizations with a theology of none, but them, are able to properly care for such animals.

American Primate Haven provided a home and care for Barbara, with compassion for the monkey, the owner and more importantly - an open door for communication, updates and consideration to both the owner and the monkey. The so-called morally superior claim of being "ethical" is seldom extended to the persons involved.

The elderly woman relinquishing her beloved pet is likely on a fixed income now, at sixty-eight years of age. While they may have well lived their lives out together, that is no longer a possibility and one Ohio politicians should be ashamed of - to force removal of a pet well-loved for over eighteen years due to nothing more than a politically motivated ban having little regard for the trees in the forest. "Can't see the forest for the trees" has an opposite and equal counterpart very seldom considered.

In speaking with Peggy Rice of American Primate Haven, it's easy to learn how difficult it can be for the animal to adjust, the owner's emotional pain and loss and also how adaptable to humans the animals really are when given the daily care, attention, understanding and love. That is something none of the groups pushing for bans appears to acknowledge. Instead, the ultimate goal of none and dollar signs are more important, coupled with political power and favors - a recipe for disaster.

Barbara and her previous owner took the route appearing to have the best outcome - not death at the hands of the state, or shipped to an already overcrowded sanctuary with an agenda of no one but they and their kind should keep these great animals or thrown into a group setting where only the fittest survive.

Looking into the sad eyes of the animal and the owner is not often done, and certainly not by those claiming to care the most or have the most compassion. Food for thought.

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