MCSO rescues capuchin monkey from suspected hoarder's home

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – Detectives with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have rescued a male capuchin monkey from the home of a suspected hoarder.

Detectives from the Animal Crimes Unit went to the home near Osborn Road and 59th Avenue in Phoenix Thursday morning after receiving a tip from a caller.

Detectives found extremely poor living conditions, particularly for the monkey, and described the 78-year-old owner as a hoarder, according to Officer Christopher Hegstrom.

"It's a classic hoarding situation," Sgt. Chris Lafko. "There is a lot of material that ranges from household equipment, furniture, trash, food items, bugs, you name it."

Lafko said the monkey appeared to be in pretty good shape, but the living conditions were not suitable for it.

"The living conditions for the monkey were deplorable," Lafko said. "There's two, three foot of trash on the bottom of its cage."

The monkey was sedated and transported to a veterinarian.

Lafko said there also were seven or eight cats in the home, but authorities are not removing them at this time due to the condition of the home.

"I'm not going to subject my people -- their health, their wealth, their safety in there -- to just go digging through looking for cats," Lafko said.

Residents in the area have been complaining about the smell coming from the property.

"It's just pungent," next-door neighbor Durl White said.

The monkey ultimately will be taken to Heritage Park Zoological Society in Prescott, which specializes in housing primates.

Lafko said authorities are working to get the woman the professional care she needs.