I moved to New York with my parents. There were a lot of things that took some getting used to and I wasn’t a fan of the heat or bugs. The one who invented air conditioning my eternal gratitude! Then there were the things that helped me to tolerate the negatives. The laid-back lifestyle and the dress, the beaches, and fishing, to name a few. One of the things I really liked about Florida was that it lacked a large number of rules and restrictions to the East of the Mountains were (and still are cursed today. Even in the early 1970s, you couldn’t walk into a new york or Long Island pet shop and buy a monkey. However, you could do that in Florida.
Before the government decided that they should take all the decisions for us, there was a time that you may decide on a lot of things for yourself. That included this type of pet, you may wish to purchase or adopt. Unfortunately, there were some people who spoiled that for honest, sincere, and caring pet owners… People who let their dogs constantly tied to a tree, kept an alligator in the pool, had a tiger in their apartment or used their home as an animal rescue center keeping hundreds of malnourished cats in a totally unacceptable environment… Now I’m not saying that there should not be laws against the maintenance of certain types of wild or exotic animals as pets. What I want to emphasize is that, if the government prohibiting people from owning animals because they are endangered or in the opinion of some “experts” could be psychologically damaged by living with the people… While they are barking the wrong tree.
As a fourteen-year-old boy, I am entered in a Florida pet shop and saw a squirrel monkey sits in a small cage. This was not a case of neglect or abuse. This kind of thing is often done by pet stores as a hook to get you to buy one of their more expensive or difficult to sell selections. So said my father and he was correct. Another week has passed, and the monkey was still there when I returned. At$ 25, it did not cost a fortune and the price meant the store wanted it gone. There was a time when few tourists were in town and that it is more difficult to sell. Most of the residents are older and do not want the hassle of keeping a Primate as a pet. In addition, the monkey was not good at self-promotion. He had barely been weaned when someone has taken from his mother, he gave a few shots and sold it to the pet store for resale. As a result, the animal was shy, skiddish and afraid.
I went to the local library and did some research on squirrel monkeys before I finally bought it two weeks after my first visit to the pet shop. My parents were good with my purchase, because I had always been a responsible pet owner having a dog, birds and guinea pigs. The dog died before we moved. The other pets were adopted to neighbors who already knew and liked because it was just not possible to bring them in. I named my monkey Sam and takes him back to the house in a large cage that we kept in a Florida Room with jalousied windows on the side of our house.
Squirrel monkeys are easy to feed, not very expensive to keep and not difficult to train if you train them to do things they like to do. However, they require a lot of camaraderie and mental stimulation. Fortunately, Sam loved me. He tried to bite me at first so I pinch him a few times until he learned not to be so aggressive. This was only possible because I was so young. The idea was to use air conditioning and repetitive discipline as tools for the behaving animal. I have been at the head of this group of primates, not him. I was the provider of food, water and shelter. Once he has understood all this, he learned more quickly. At the beginning, I used a leash. After a few months, it was not necessary. He was allowed to move freely under our supervision and has even played outside while we had barbecues and went to the edge of our swimming pool. He used the vacant lot next to the store as a exercise yard, climbing in the trees and chase the birds and squirrels. It has also been used as a pot, so I guess you could say he has been potty trained for the most part.
Dogs and monkeys are sworn enemies. You can’t really have both without focusing on one or two pets. In reality, the Monkeys are jealous. I strongly suggest that if you plan to have a monkey of this type to avoid having other pets. Most of the Monkeys that are not well-trained and kindly treated, will be likely to obtain the mean or moody’s in their transition to adulthood. Constantly in the cage of the monkeys will pee on you or throw feces at you. They can also attack you, or destroy things that they see are important to you if the opportunity presents itself.
As a general rule, Monkeys are intelligent. They learn quickly and are great escape artists. That is why the training is important. I always left Sam to the door of the cage open once it has been formed. I did close the doors to the room. He has learned to close or open his cage door, as it suited him. After some time, he has learned how to open and close all the doors that lead to the back yard so he could go outside to play or do his business. But he would never go unless one of us gave him our permission. The doors of his house have been padlocked when we went out without him.
Owning a squirrel monkey is easy and hard… the satisfaction and the frustration… fun and boring… but is it ethical? Is it detrimental to the animal? The truth is that people are going to own monkeys, whatever. In China, it is illegal, but thousands of Chinese own Pocket “Monkees”, which are usually bought as baby Pygmy Mamosets, Capuchins or Resus Monkeys. They do not treat well. They attach to their arms so that they will learn to practice walking on two instead of four legs, which is painful and not natural for them. They shave their fur and dress them up in clothes. You get the picture. These animals are symbols of social status in China, where most of the authorities look the other way and ignore the rich and important people who possess them. However, if they or responsible pet owners do not have to buy the monkeys, they would be sold to research laboratories and sentenced to a past life to be subjected to physically or emotionally damaging experiences, while living in a small cage devoid of love or companionship.
Each year, tens of thousands of monkeys are shipped to research facilities in the world, and many more orders from these same torture centres remain vacant. Given this fact, it is difficult to be concerned about the morality of owning a monkey as a pet compared to the same animal ending up as a lab rat. Most of the people I know that have the property of a monkey does not mistreat or shave it, or to beat or keep them in a bad environment. Once again, if you have the legal right to possess one, you must decide if this is something you should do or not. Before you do anything, do plenty of research and buy from a reputable breeder if you decide a monkey is the right pet for you. No more $25 price. You are going to spend $3000-$6000 depending on the type of monkey that you choose. If tiny is your plan Marmosets Pygmies are the size of a finger as babies, and the hand of the average size of the adults. The squirrel and Spider Monkeys need more time and effort than most people care to invest in a pet.