Deerfield Beach woman fights city to keep pet monkeys

City says animals violate Deerfield Beach ordinance

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Marmoset monkeys are cute and they're cuddly, and for Nicole Davis, they're part of the family. 

"I've grown very attached to these animals," Davis, a Deerfield Beach resident who owns nine monkeys, told Local 10 News. "I hand-raised them from the point when they were about 3-5 days old."

Davis' monkeys live in a home she built on her property -- complete with a drainage system and a playhouse. She has event built a business in which she breeds the animals.

In April, the city issued Davis a $50 fine to Davis for not having the proper license to sell a "federally designated endangered and threatened species, state-designated threatened species or state-designated species of special concern." 

 The city asked Davis to remove the monkeys from her property, citing a local ordinance.

"That ordinance is in direct violation of a state law established by (the) Florida Fish and Wildlife (Conservation Commission) that states that no government agency, no city, can enact any ordinances that contradict their laws," Davis said.

Davis believes she is in compliance with state law. She says she has a license for the monkeys and plans to appear before a special magistrate on  Tuesday to fight to keep her animals.

"They've come back and said, 'Well, we're the city of Deerfield Beach. We don't have to follow the state law. That's why we have a special magistrate,'" Davis said.

Davis has had the monkeys since 2013.

She said the city inspected her property after at least one of her neighbors made a complaint regarding a non-monkey-related issue. 

About the Authors: