Lawsuit claiming Springfield woman's monkey is service animal rejected

Friday, October 23, 2009 | 9:30 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — A federal judge has rejected a Springfield woman's claim that her monkey was a service animal and that she was disabled.

Debby Rose had sued the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, CoxHealth hospital and a Springfield Walmart because she was not allowed to take the monkey, named Richard, into restaurants and other businesses.

The Springfield News-Leader reported that Rose claimed she was covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act because she suffered from anxiety and agoraphobia. She said she needed Richard to calm her.

But federal Judge Richard Dorr ruled Thursday that the monkey was not a service animal and that Rose was not disabled.

The judge noted that Rose was able to marry three times, raise six children and work several jobs despite claiming to suffer from the disabilities since the 1970s.

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