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Board approves retirement home for service monkeys in Allston

The Zoning Board of Appeals today approved plans by Helping Hands to expand its facility on Cambridge Street in Allston to provide a place for service monkeys who have gotten too old to help clients enjoy their golden years in peace.

Helping Hands places specially trained capuchin monkeys with severely disabled clients to help them with daily tasks, from turning on lights to retrieving food from containers on shelves. The organization trains the monkeys for three to five years at its home at 541 Cambridge St.

Helping Hands used to place monkeys who've gotten too old to keep working with individuals willing to watch after them, but federal regulations no longer permit that, Helping Hands attorney Paul Rufo told the board at a hearing this morning.

The organization needed board approval for a roughly 528-square-foot addition, which Rufo said would let the group reorganize the existing interior space and create a second-floor home for senior monkey to "enjoy the rest of their natural lives."

The mayor's office, city councilors Liz Breadon and Annissa Essaibi-George and the Allston Civic Association all supported the proposal. "Helping Hand is a fantastic organization," an aide to the mayor said.

The board approved the request for the requested variances unanimously.

Free tagging: 


Why do federal regulations now prohibit placing the old monkeys in homes willing to take them?


So of course President Trump had to abolish it. It was tucked in with legislation about Endangered Species Protection President Obama was working on.

The big questions are: How many off-street parking spaces are required per monkey, and are they eligible for on-street permits to compete with the long-term residents??


Oh ha ha everything is a dumb joke to you isn't it. Would you prefer these monkeys who have spent most of their lives in service to human beings in need be executed instead? Kudos to the people who give a damn about these amazing animals who are willing to see that their lives are not simply terminated because they are 'too old.' ...and then there are people like yourself with your ignorant and heartless attitude who scoff and scorn and think all are beneath you. Grow up.

No need to go ape, he was just monkeying around.

  • Will the monkey school system be able to cope with the additional monkey children?
  • Will the roads be able to cope with the additional traffic the monkeys will cause when they leave their homes to go to monkey work and patronize monkey businesses?
  • Will the monkey houses be built in the same character as the rest of the monkey neighborhood?

That's bananas!

Can I go and visit these monkeys?


you used to be able to see them from the street if they were hanging out by the windows. not sure if they have reconfigured the space since then, since this was like 15 years ago. but to actually visit them in person, no. they don't allow that.

How did I not know there was a monkey house in my neighborhood? I wonder if there are volunteer opportunities...


How did I not know this existed? I wonder if they will need volunteers to play with the retired monkeys and keep them happy. I'd love that job.


Does this home get the religious tax exemption?

do these retired monkeys get a service dog or something ?

They get service monkeys.

Maybe in the future they'll mistakenly blame the virus on these monkeys before sending back Bruce Willis.

It would be awesome if they could let people hang out with the retired capuchins for a small donation/fee to the organization. I imagine the liability insurance would be prohibitive though.

Maybe if they got a cappuccino machine?

Reminds me of a certain defunct cat cafe...

Probably do better to serve beers and call it Monkey Bar. Not sure I'd go though, my mom told me not to get into any monkey business.

Have they considered letting these primates star in a movie remake?

Or if not, getting their own reality TV series, using the same title...