Little Monkey Causes Big Controversy

Spunky loved by all, except one

By Matt Bartosik
|  Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010  |  Updated 9:26 AM CDT
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John Patsch/The Herald News

Spunky the monkey is too cute for his own good.

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A pet store in Coal City, Illinois is caught up in some controversial monkey business.

Last week, an unnamed woman complained to village officials about the tiny capuchin monkey at a local pet shop, prompting a criminal investigation, reports the Herald News.

The monkey, who goes by Spunky, resides at DeeDee's Pet Palace but is not actually for sale. Owner Diane Izral adopted the little primate from an animal sanctuary.

Spunky's been a big hit with the store's visitors.

"Everybody loves the monkey," employee Rachael McKinney told the Herald News.

"Oh gosh, I'd take him home in a minute," said Coal City resident Cheryl Baker.

In fact, it's that very sentiment that gives Izral reason to keep Spunky in a cage in the shop. Izral isn't protecting visitors from Spunky; rather, she's protecting Spunky from would-be kidnappers.

Because then there'd be no chunky Spunky monkey to see.

But one woman was not in love with Spunky.

After making a loud fuss in the store, she went to village hall and alleged that the monkey would bite children's fingers, according to the Herald News.

An investigation by local officials found that neither Izral nor Spunky were in violation of any village code, but that's only because there was no law that covered the subject.

"It doesn't say they can't and it doesn't say they can have a monkey," Building & Zoning Official Bob Malone told the Herald News.

How's that for a monkey wrench?

Both the Grundy County Animal Control and the state's attorney's office have launched their own investigations.

Izral hasn't taken this lying down, however. She has collected several signatures in a petition drive, "Keep Spunky at DeeDee's," reports the Herald News.

Izral loves her pet and is hoping to get this other monkey off her back.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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