Stop Torturing Monkeys Used as Personal Helpers

Target: Susan Keyes, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Helping Hands Monkey Helpers

Goal: End cruel training and treatment of macaque monkeys as helper monkeys and promote robotic alternatives instead.

Monkeys are cruelly trained and inhumanely treated to become helper monkeys for disabled individuals. Even the best of intentions can be cruel and inhumane for animals. Monkeys destined to be helpers for disabled humans are usually ripped from their mothers within days of birth. This is highly traumatic as most monkeys live with and are trained by their mothers until maturity. Monkeys are prone to biting, so some or all of the monkeys’ teeth are usually pulled when they become helper monkeys. Take action now to save the lives of these helpless monkeys by demanding that robotic alternatives be used instead.

Helping Hands Monkey Helpers, the company that provides service monkeys for the disabled, was created in 1979. Former Helping Hands trainers have reported that monkeys have been forced to wear electric shock belts that shocked them when they performed an undesirable action. The company describes their training methods as loving and caring but, if you attend a workshop where they parade a macaque monkey around, these animals are diapered and on a leash. There are countless stories online of the horrors adoptive parents of these monkeys face such as the high cost of feeding them to their aggressive behavior to vicious biting.

Macaques, a monkey breed commonly used as helper monkeys, are known to carry the herpes B virus. A macaque that is ill or stressed sheds the virus via tears, saliva, urine, and feces. If a human is bitten, scratched, spit at, or sneezed on while the monkey is shedding, they run the risk of being infected. About 80 to 90 percent of adult macaques harbor the virus and are able to pass it on to humans. The National Institute of Health has reported that the herpes B virus has been fatal in approximately 80 percent of known cases. This poses a serious risk to people that end up owning these helper macaque monkeys as pets.

In this era of technology, robotic equipment can easily provide help to disabled individuals. Technological advances have made the use of helper monkeys obsolete. Ripping a monkey from its mother, painfully extracting its teeth, castration, and electric shock training are inhumane and cruel. It is a better use of resources to provide disabled individuals with robotic equipment that is effective, does not potentially carry diseases or bite, and does not have expensive long term costs.

By signing this petition below, you will urge Helping Hands Monkey Helpers to refocus its resources on providing disabled individuals with robotic equipment that will provide the service functions of helper monkeys. Please save a monkey and promote the use of robotics for disabled individuals.


Dear Co-Chair Keyes,

The training and use of helper monkeys is cruel and inhumane. Infant monkeys are taken from their mothers within days of their birth, denying them valuable care and nurturing. The monkeys are castrated or spayed and have their teeth painfully extracted, which is neither loving nor caring. Additionally, monkeys can carry the herpes B virus, a highly contagious virus which can infect humans.

Monkeys are highly intelligent and social animals. The helper monkeys that are adopted out to disabled individuals are denied interaction with their own species and often confined to cages or paraded around on leashes. The training they receive to enable them to become helper monkeys is barbaric.

Robotic equipment is humane, hygienic, less expensive, and more effective than helper monkeys. Helping Hands Monkey Helpers could continue to assist disabled individuals with daily functions by shifting resources from helper monkeys to robotic equipment.

I urge you to stop torturing monkeys. Please don’t subject any more monkeys to your training program and a life of solitude and despair. Monkeys deserve to live a social life with others of their kind.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Foxnavy

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One Comment

  1. “..make a habit of two things — to help, or at least, to do no harm.”
    ― Hippocrates

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