NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) -- A North Versailles family is fighting for the right to keep their pet monkey.
The Govannucci family says Kira, a 10-year-old Pigtail Macaque, is like a child to them.
"I've raised her since she was 2-weeks-old. I mean, so to me it's just like another child. She would sit there and watch cartoons with us," Sam Govannucci said.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission describes the monkey as a possible danger. The commission says the animal can carry disease.
A judge agreed with the Game Commission. Sam Govannucci was found guilty and fined for having the animal without any sort of license.
"Í would like her to come home. I hope these people feel guilty for everything that they've done. Just to the fact that I have six months to live", says Amanda Govannucci.
The 23-year-old has terminal cancer and has been told by doctors she has six months to live. Amanda Govannucci calls Kira a therapy monkey and claims she needs the monkey to survive.
"I'm taking medication just to calm me down because I can't cope without her," she said.
Meantime, the monkey is in a nearby shelter and is doing fine.
The Govannucci family says it will appeal a judge's decision calling the pet illegal. The family is not expected to appear in court again for at least a month.
"They think it's a big joke to take a dying woman's therapy animal away," Sam Govannucci said. "It's not a joke. They're playing with someone's life."
"I think our little girl needs to come home so my wife has her," he added.
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