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Animal Sanctuary's Legal Battle May Finally End, Years Later

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) -- The battle over nearly two dozen rescued monkeys in Howard County may be over.

Andrea Fujii has more on the legal battle that's spanned over more than a decade.

As the founder of Frisky's Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary, Colleen Layton-Robbins has taken in thousands of wild and exotic animals at her Howard County location since 1993.

"I'm their nurse, maid and waitress and I do love and adore every one of them," Layton-Robbins said.

But about 100 yards away, the homeowners who share the same driveway with Frisky's say they're concerned for their safety, safety from the 22 monkeys that homeowner Richard Wyckoff and other homeowners say can escape. They have a picture as proof.

"Some of the monkeys that unfortunately do carry the disease and other behaviors are going to be threatful to people. It doesn't give one a strong sense of comfort living next to that, so that's the purpose of us continuing this," said Wyckoff's attorney, Thomas Meachum.

But Frisky's claims their animals have never escaped and the facility is secure, complete with surveillance cameras.

After years of legal battles all the way up to the Maryland Court of Appeals, the County Board of appeals will now decide whether Frisky's is a legal animal sanctuary that can keep wild and exotic animals. If not, the monkeys may have to be relocated.

"For them to go through that change and have health issues, it'd be life-threatening," Layton-Robbins said.

In the meantime, Frisky's says they won't be taking in any more monkeys.

The County Board of Appeals says they do take community concerns into consideration.

The County Board of Appeals is scheduled to make a decision soon. That decision could then be appealed.

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