Rescued Hawkins monkey suffered 'extreme and long-term neglect'

Jeff Bobo • Jul 17, 2019 at 6:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The 19-year-old macaque monkey rescued from a sweltering mobile home on July 10 will go into foster care with a primate expert pending the outcome of the owner’s criminal charges.

Lisa Jean Wade, 41, Church Hill, was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court on two counts of animal cruelty after a dead dog and the monkey named Josie were located in her mobile home last week.

Following Wade’s arraignment, her son went to the Hawkins County Humane Society to visit Josie. The son told the HCHS that he loved Josie and was willing to take her into his home and build her an enclosure.

A hearing was set for Wednesday in Sessions Court to determine if the son could take Josie home. It was later revealed on Tuesday, however, that Wade resides with her son, along with a total of seven people including children.

As a result of that information, as well as a report from a primate expert who examined Josie Tuesday, the Attorney General’s Office and HCHS recommended to Sessions Court Judge Todd Ross Wednesday that Josie not be released to Wade’s son.

Ross decided Wednesday that Josie could be placed in the custody of a qualified foster home pending the outcome of Wade’s criminal charges. Wade is schedule to appear in Sessions Court again on Sept. 3.

The foster home is maintained by a member of the Simian Society of America (SSOA) who has owned primates for 24 years. Her name and the location of her home were not released.

Josie’s new foster “parent” will also take her to a veterinarian and will absorb all of her medical expenses. Based on an evaluation conducted Tuesday, those costs might be substantial.

Primate expert Janie Coke visited Rogersville Tuesday to evaluate Josie and compile a report for the court. Coke is a member of the SSOA who has owned macaque monkeys for 41 years.

She concluded that Josie has suffered “extreme and long-term neglect,” and at one-quarter the weight of an adult macaque, “I am unsure how she survived.”

“She suffers from extreme malnourishment and dehydration, and is in fact, skin covering bones,” Coke said. “My conclusion is, and I cannot stress this enough, that if she returns to any member of this family she will die. I think she has suffered enough at the hands of these individuals and nothing deserves this kind of treatment.”

On July 10, the Church Hill Police Department responded to a report of possible animal cruelty at 1268 Burlington Road, Lot 1, which was reported as Wade’s residence, although she told police she hadn’t been there for weeks.

Wade reportedly told Detective Kevin Grigsby she had been staying with family in Lot 9 of the same mobile home park for about three months due to not having electricity in the Lot 1 residence.

Wade also reportedly stated that she had recently taken in an injured dog that had died several days earlier, and she hadn’t had time to dispose of it.

Upon entering Lot 1, police reportedly found the interior of the residence to be in excess of 100 degrees with no open windows for ventilation.

The dog was found in a bathtub, and Josie was located inside a cage with no access to food or water.

Grigsby said the monkey appeared dehydrated and it quickly drank two juice boxes that were given to it.

The interior of the residence was not fit to be lived in by persons or animals due to extreme trash, feces, and an unbearable odor, Grigsby added.

Wade reportedly stated she didn’t leave the windows open due to the noise made by the monkey and the odor coming from the interior.

She also reportedly stated that she hadn’t been inside the residence for about three weeks and thought her daughter was caring for the animals.

Wade is currently free on $2,000 bond.