Not a week goes by, really, without someone contacting us about the welfare of Joey the Chimp, a.k.a. "Felonious Monk."
We wrote about Joey's legal problems a few years ago in a cover story. (That's not Joey in the photo, but we liked the image, so....)
It told how Arizona Game and Fish officials claimed that the young chimp's owner, Surprise woman Kristy Pruett, had illegally imported Joey from Texas.
The authorities said Pruett broke laws against bringing in "restricted wildlife" -- a chimpanzee in this instance -- for more than 60 days without a special permit.
In a federal lawsuit, Pruett, who suffers from diabetes, alleged that Joey was a "service animal" and should have been exempted from the Arizona law.
But local authorities didn't immediately confiscate Joey.
Instead, they placed him on something akin to "house arrest," after Pruett and her husband promised not to take the chimp off their property except in case of a medical emergency.
Here's what happened next:
Pruett lost her court case -- you can read Judge Neil Wake's opinion here.
So, you ask, what happened to Joey?
Pruett's attorney, Julie Carter, tells us that she's not sure.
Seems that Pruet and her husband split for parts unknown before Game and Fish personnel were able to confiscate the little fella, who then weighed about 27 pounds, but was growing.
"I don't know what happened to them," Carter says. "I know that Kristy loved Joey. All the bad publicity surrounding chimps in general sure hasn't helped."
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SHOW ME HOW
Chimps have gotten a lot of negative ink in recent times, and much of it for good reason.
Click here if you want to get sick reading about the poor woman who got her face ripped off by a 200-pound pet chimp (not hers) in Stamford, Connecticut.
The woman ended up on Oprah a few months ago, showing her disfigured (nice way to put it) face for the world to see.
Anyway, that's what we know about Joey at the moment: He's a fugitive from justice, a macaque on the lam.