Community Supported Agriculture » Michael and Kathy

Michael and Kathy

By Donna Dell’Aglio and Michael Townsend

A monkey helper is a type of assistance animal, similar to an assistance dog, that is specially trained to help quadriplegics, other people with severe spinal cord injuries or others with mobility-impairments.

Monkey helpers are usually trained in schools by private organizations, taking 7 years to train on average, and are able to serve 25–30 years (2-3x longer than a guide dog).

After being socialized in a human home as infants, the monkeys undergo extensive training before being placed with a quadriplegic. Around the house, the monkeys help out by doing tasks including microwaving food, washing the quadriplegic’s face, and opening drink bottles.

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