Malnourished Monkeys Removed from Lansing Home | NBC Chicago

Malnourished Monkeys Removed from Lansing Home



    Rachel Birkenfeld, 46, was arrested on Friday and now faces charges on two counts of possession of a dangerous animal and four counts of neglect of owner's duties.

    A pair of monkeys and a set of dogs have been removed from a home in Lansing because of neglect.

    Cook County Sheriff's Police seized two Capuchin monkeys and five dogs belonging to 46-year-old Rachel Birkenfeld, who was keeping the animals at her mother's home and is now being charged with two counts of possession of a dangerous animal and four counts of neglect of owner's duties.

    At the scene, police found the that the two monkeys and five dogs had been living in unsanitary and neglectful conditions. One of the monkeys, a female, was noticeably undernourished and was living in a small wire dog cage, while the other, male monkey was being kept in a larger metal bird cage. The dogs were also kept in small cages, and all of the cages were covered in excrement and cigarette butts, according to police.

    The animals were also found without food or water.  

    Police found the animals inside of the Lansing residence on the 3100 block of 192nd Street after investigators with the Cook County Sheriff's Office Animal Crimes Unit had received a tip from a social worker who had done a house check on the elderly woman.

    Laws in Illinois prohibit the possesion of primates without special permits from the State of Agriculture because they can attack and spread diseases. The danger these animals pose was realized with the Charla Nash incident in February 2009, where Nash's friend's pet chimp, Travis, attacked and severely disfigured the  56-year-old in Stamford, Conn. More recently in Chicago, federal wildlife agents raided African Arts and Objects, near West Flourney Street and South Cicero Avenue, and discovered six money heads and a chimpanzee head.

    Police arrested Birkenfeld on Friday. She due for court next on August 10th.