Leukemia Patient Wants Seized Monkey Returned

NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) — A North Versailles family is fighting for the right to keep their pet monkey.

The Govannucci family says Kira, a 10-year-old Pigtail Macaque, is like a child to them.

“I’ve raised her since she was 2-weeks-old. I mean, so to me it’s just like another child. She would sit there and watch cartoons with us,” Sam Govannucci said.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission describes the monkey as a possible danger. The commission says the animal can carry disease.

A judge agreed with the Game Commission. Sam Govannucci was found guilty and fined for having the animal without any sort of license.

“Í would like her to come home. I hope these people feel guilty for everything that they’ve done. Just to the fact that I have six months to live”, says Amanda Govannucci.

The 23-year-old has terminal cancer and has been told by doctors she has six months to live. Amanda Govannucci calls Kira a therapy monkey and claims she needs the monkey to survive.

“I’m taking medication just to calm me down because I can’t cope without her,” she said.

Meantime, the monkey is in a nearby shelter and is doing fine.

The Govannucci family says it will appeal a judge’s decision calling the pet illegal. The family is not expected to appear in court again for at least a month.

“They think it’s a big joke to take a dying woman’s therapy animal away,” Sam Govannucci said. “It’s not a joke. They’re playing with someone’s life.”

“I think our little girl needs to come home so my wife has her,” he added.

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  • Bert

    The game commission are a bunch of out of control idiots. They tried their best to ban pet birds a couple of years ago. They planned on taking them out of our homes and kill them all. All they had to do was talk to the people at the National Aviary to get more details about the birds and the fact that the birds pose no threat to agriculture. But they refused to talk to the Aviary. They called zoos across the country trying to find someone to tell them the birds could survive in our climate. Thanks to a large group of veterinarians and experts our pet birds were saved from the game commission. They probably didn’t even investigate this situation they just storm trooped this poor family.

  • Grandma the Sailor Lady

    Just another of the many examples of a “government” pushing and proding us to see how far they can go.

  • Peggy

    Mrs. Gavannucci I understand the everybody in my business situation, but animals carry hidden diseases in their saliva. If you want the animal remember to wash your hands after everytime you touch it especially around the nose and mouth. Petty Zoos are the worst.

  • Erika

    Ok so she has had the monkey for 10 years. Maybe there’s a hidden disease there, but I don’t think that matters. Give the lady her monkey back. Put yourself in her shoes. She has a grim prognosis, and it could be shorter if she can’t get that therapy. Pets become family and pets are a valid form of therapy. Why is it an issue after 10 years? Why didn’t they just say its not licensed, heres how to get it, and give a small fine for not licensing it. To take it away was ridiculous!!!

  • http://monkeytakenaway sharbe

    this is so sad and just wrong. the woman is going to spend the little time she has left on this earth heartbroken fighting to get her lil girl back. these people should give back the monkey if the pet is such a problem then it should have been removed from the home years ago not now. in eight years this family has cared & taken care of this animal with no problem. the family should have to get the correct paper work to own the monkey then she should be returned to the family. dont cause more pain to this sick woman let her spend her last days in peace with her beloved pet “daughter”

  • Biggest Idiot Reporter

    Why does every idiot who can’t get what they want call Marty?

  • Daniel

    This is a prime example of government gone wild so to speak. Give this woman her monkey back! It is a shame that we the taxpayers have to pay the salary for people to go and treat a cancer patient like this. Things like this make my blood boil. Hopefully someone high up in state government will see this and correct the matter.

  • Animal Kingdom

    Andy found an eagle. Marty lost a monkey….tune in tomorrow for the latest adventures of the KD Investigators as they track wild animals

  • steve


  • kristy

    what i don’t get is why couldn’t these people adopt a dog or cat? do they feel a need to be “special” and buy a monkey? was this a “status thing?” god bless that poor little monkey. it’s going to suffer because of these people’s irresponsibility, stupidity, and arrogance.

    • Heather

      It was a therapy monkey/helper that the man had from a previous illness. The monkey became a help for his wife. They probably only needed to transfer the permit to her name and didn’t know they had to and now all the bull started.

  • argo

    The monkey police;petty people exercising what little authority they have to reinforce their sense of importance.People have saliva and and also carry disease; let’s round them all up.

  • Maddy

    Maybe they should adopt YOU, Kristy. Oh, sorry , you probably have bad saliva!

  • Ogden

    marty saw the bear, the bear saw marty. the bear was farty; the fart was marty!

  • Jeff

    I lived at Leiland Point apartment complex a 2 years ago and I feel confident to say, that most of my neighbors were 10 times filthier and unhealthy than the monkey!

  • Lisa

    @kristy – you make a valid point.
    Everyone is bashing the Game Commission for doing their job. This is Not a service animal. If it were, these people would have a license and the necessary clearances and authorizations. This is a pet, nothing more, nothing less.
    Yes, I feel bad for the woman and her condition. Unfortunately they broke the law.

    • True Story


  • Vladimir

    This is an example why some people go on a shooting rampage she got only 6 months to live on this dirty Earth and this is what they do to her, if this was Paris Hiltons monkey trust me it wouldnt be taken away.

  • http://trentroy.wordpress.com bluemalak

    What it usually comes down to is one bureauocrat that’s on a power trip, they really don’t care about the monkey, disease (face it, after 10 years any disease to be passed would have already happened), they only care about the power to hurt others. This is why these people weren’t given a fine and given the appropriate papers to get a license to keep the monkey in the first place. I’m sure this could be traced back to that one power tripping bureauocrat.

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