MARYLAND

Armani: Capuchin monkey's owner fights to bring him home

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(WJLA) - For Elyse Gazewitz, it is a heart-wrenching sense of déjà vu as she starts her fight to bring her Capuchin monkey, Armani, back home.

“He's been with me since he was 12 weeks old," she sobs. "I fought so hard with the state and county to get him. It's just so hard to go through this again, it's so hard for him."

In 2007, Montgomery County seized the animal after monkeys were banned from being owned in Maryland. After a seven-month court battle that made national headlines, a judge finally ordered Armani be returned to Elyse.

But back in August, Gazewitz had signed a document transferring ownership to a monkey rescue group in Virginia as she was recovering from several surgeries – leaving caring for Armani a struggle.

“I figured someone could watch him for me until I recovered, and then I get him back," she explains.

American Primate Haven is the group that took possession of Armani, and they say he is currently in an undisclosed location.

Founder Peggy Rice tells ABC7: "The welfare of the monkey is my first concern. I understand she is broken-hearted, but it is a done decision. For the welfare of the monkey, he is staying with other Capuchin monkeys."

Yet Gazewitz is adamant: “It just doesn't feel right, I miss him dearly. I don't know where he is, I just want him to come home."

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