Friday, January 16, 2009

Helper monkeys in the Times

I don't know how I missed this, but the New York Times ran a piece about helper monkeys and seeing eye ponies and the like. Thanks to the Internets (and Cuteoverload), I was able to discover it 17 days after the fact. In any case, the story is by Rebecca Skloot (pictured here with a helper monkey named Richard) who sums up the story like so:
"When people think of service animals, they think guide dogs for the blind. But today it's monkeys for quadriplegia and agoraphobia, guide miniature horses, a goat for muscular dystrophy, parrots for psychosis and any number of animals for anxiety, including cats, ferrets, pigs, at least one iguana and a duck. They've been showing up in stores and in restaurants, which is perfectly legal because the Americans With Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) requires that service animals be allowed wherever their owners want to go. But now the United States government is considering a proposal that would force people to give up their nontraditional service animals because a growing number of people think the whole thing has gotten out of control."
Believe it. Read the NYT piece and then head on over to Culture Dish, Skloot's blog for more, including photos, videos and Homer Simpson's helper monkey.

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