No decision made about whether Deerfield Beach woman can keep monkeys in home

Neighbors complain about smell from 9 monkeys

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – A Deerfield Beach woman appeared at a special hearing Tuesday, hoping that she would be granted permission to keep her marmoset monkeys, but the case was continued.

The monkeys are about as small as a squirrel, but all their monkeying around has created a big problem.

"I'm disappointed that we don't have a resolution," Nicole Davis said after the hearing.

But Davis said that she's pleased that the city is going to take the time to decide whether she can keep her nine monkeys.

"We're trying to make sure that we can keep them," her attorney, Elizabeth Hueber said. "It appears as if the board is willing to read and look into this, which I'm delighted to see."

The city's attorney said an ordinance defines non-human primates, like Davis' Marmoset monkeys, as wild animals, which are not allowed in the city limits.

"It's under our powers to enact a zoning code to legislatively decide what should be in that zoning code, and then to enforce that zoning code, which the city has done here," city attorney Jeff Siniawsky said.

Davis and her attorney said that she's licensed by the state, compliant with Florida wildlife laws and the city's ordinance contradicts the state's wildlife regulations.

The city's attorney called the assertion "ridiculous." 

Some neighbors said the smell of Davis' monkeys is one of their main concerns.

"The smell is just horrible," Val Lewis said.

Lewis was one of a handful of neighbors who showed up for Tuesday morning's special hearing. She said the monkeys moved in several months ago.

"She should have her monkeys, but maybe in a different place," Lewis said. "You know, they shouldn't be in a residential area."

Code enforcement officers also said that there's an issue with the structure where the monkeys live.

The city will submit a brief in response to the homeowner's claim, and they're scheduled to be back before the special magistrate on Nov. 22.

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