Monkeys seized from home in Lansing

Rachel Birkenfeld, 46, of the 18600 block of Bernadine in Lansing, has been charged with possession of a dangerous animal and neglect of owner's duties. (Cook County sheriff's office)

Cook County sheriff's deputies seized two Capuchin monkeys and five dogs from a woman's home in south suburban Lansing after following up on a tip.

One of the monkeys, a "undernourished" female, was living in a small wire dog cage and the other monkey, a male, was in a large metal cage meant for birds, the sheriff's office said.

"The cages were covered in excrement and cigarette butts," the office said. "The dogs were also being kept in small filthy cages.  None of the animals had food or water."

Rachel Birkenfeld, 46, of the 18600 block of Bernadine in Lansing, was charged with possession of a dangerous animal and neglect of owner’s duties. Birkenfeld told deputies she kept the monkeys and dogs at her mother’s nearby home because there was more space.

Monkeys cannot be kept in Illinois without a special permis from the state Department of Agriculture.

The monkeys and dogs were taken to the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.

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