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Missouri woman in legal battle to keep three emotional support monkeys

**Embargo: St. Louis, MO** Texanne McBride-Teahan is fighting back against her neighbors to keep the three monkeys who live with her. She says they serve as emotional support, but neighbors are worried for their safety. By Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

(CNN) -- A Missouri woman is fighting to keep three monkeys she claims have provided her emotional support for years.

Texanne McBride-Teahan may lose possession of the animals after a neighbor in Creve Coeur, a suburb of St. Louis, spotted one monkey outside roughly a month after McBride-Teahan moved in, according to CNN affiliate KMOV.

Monkeys are considered an "inherently dangerous animal" along with alligators, lions and pythons and are thus prohibited in residential areas, according to the City of Creve Coeur.

McBride-Teahan defended her monkeys -- a black-capped capuchin named Paula, a patas named Zoey and a bonnet macaque named Kalie Anna -- at a city council meeting September 9.

McBride-Teahan considers the monkeys emotional support animals and has a doctor's letter and registration cards for them, she told CNN through Facebook. The animals help her cope with post-traumatic stress disorder related to an incident when she was a teenager, McBride-Teahan added.

Emotional support animals are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These sorts of animals provide comfort by being with a person but "because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA," the organization's website states.

"However, some state or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places," the ADA adds.

McBride-Teahan is scheduled to appear in court over her monkeys in November, KMOV added.

"Monkeys are little. Less than 9 pounds. Pictures show they aren't dangerous. To me they are life savers for my PTSD. We just want to live in peace," McBride-Teahan told CNN.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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