After careful thought and much deliberation, we have made the decision to suspend new placements of our service monkeys and to stop accepting inquiries at this time.
We made this decision for the following reasons:
We do not know if or how the COVID-19 virus may affect our monkey population. Since this is a new virus and there is very little known about it, we must take extreme precaution and assume it could infect our monkeys.
The people we serve, those living with spinal cord injuries or progressive diseases such as multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy, often have compromised immune systems due to these conditions. When we make a new placement, two of our trainers travel with the monkey (often via airplane) to the home of the recipient and spend a week there to set up the new placement. We feel there are too many opportunities in this process for the people and monkey involved to potentially contract the virus and pass it along to others. We do not want to put our recipients, our staff, or our monkeys at greater risk than necessary.
We know this is difficult news to hear, especially if you have recently submitted an inquiry or are in the midst of the application process. However, we will continue to watch as the situation develops and will reevaluate when we can open up inquiries and continue the application process.
Please rest assured that we will keep all applications and inquiries on file and follow up when appropriate.
In the meantime, we ask for your understanding and patience as we are also implementing additional measures at The Monkey College to ensure the health and safety of all monkeys in our care here.
Thank you, as always, for your interest in and support of Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers.