Monkey rescued from hoarder home recovers in Prescott

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PRESCOTT, Ariz. --- A monkey seized from an accused hoarder in Phoenix is recovering at an animal sanctuary in Prescott.

"He's adjusting really well," Wayne Fischer, of the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary told 3TV.

"Ricky," a 20-year-old Capuchin Monkey, spent years living with his prior owner near 59th Avenue and Thomas Road in Phoenix.

The 78-year-old woman's home was raided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, after complaints from neighbors in September.

They found several feet of trash inside, along with several animals.

Ricky was found in a cage full of garbage. 

"He was a bit underweight and pretty dirty," Fischer recalls.

The staff at the sanctuary quickly found out Ricky has a passion for cleaning, after living in squalor for years.

"Out of the blue he ripped up some newspapers and started using them to clean the windows off," Fischer said.

Ricky's indoor-outdoor area is not on public display.  His future depends on his owner's legal situation.  He could be moved, or remain at the sanctuary forever.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office told 3TV, his owner has not been officially charged.  She could face a misdemeanor "lack of necessary shelter" charge.

Ricky's neighbors at the sanctuary include a tiger, saved from a failing zoo in Nebraska, and an orphaned bear whose mother was killed by a car in Flagstaff.

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is hosting a fundraiser this weekend, featuring tastings from Prescott wineries, restaurants, and breweries.

All proceeds from this event support the animals and programs at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary.

For more information on Taste of the Wild, visit www.heritageparkzoo.org.

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