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Primate Rescue Center Charity Profile
The Primate Rescue Center has roots reaching back to September 1987, when Clay Miller answered an ad in USA Today and, without much serious thought, purchased Gizmo—a young crab-eating macaque—from an animal dealer in Cincinnati. Clay brought Gizmo home and presented him to April Truitt, his future wife, thinking the monkey would be a delightful addition to their collection of household pets.
The couple searched the available literature for information on caring for this fast-growing bundle of energy, and discovered that what would benefit young Gizmo most was the company of another monkey. A search of their area of Kentucky turned up JoJo, an older monkey of uncertain heritage who had outgrown his cage (and his welcome) and needed a new home.
As they sought out other monkey owners to share information with, Truitt and Miller came across increasing numbers of once-beloved pets who were now unwanted as they grew older, stronger, and more unpredictable. So the couple built a few more cages for the castoffs and began buying monkey chow in bulk. Soon there was a call from a research laboratory wanting to retire a few animals, then one from a national humane organization that had two confiscated monkeys to place, then another from someone who had been badly injured by her pet…. “It seems as though one day there were five monkeys to feed, and the next day there were fifty,” Truitt says. “It’s so hard to say ‘No’ when there are so few alternatives for these animals.”
From these humble beginnings, the Primate Rescue Center has evolved into a nationally respected sanctuary housing more than 50 primates, including 11 chimpanzees. The organization’s work has been featured in the award-winning book Animal Underworld, by investigative journalist Alan Green and the Center for Public Integrity, in the magazine Animals’ Agenda (now Animals and Society Institute), on television and in newspapers nationwide. Supported solely by tax-deductible donations, the Primate Rescue Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has earned the “Accredited Charity” designation from the Better Business Bureau, and is licensed and inspected by the USDA.
The mission of the Primate Rescue Center is to alleviate the suffering of primates wherever it occurs by:
Providing sanctuary or referral to appropriate facilities
Working to end the trade in primates both in the United States and abroad
Educating the public to the plight of primates caught in the breeder/dealer cycle
Assisting researchers and zoo personnel in finding appropriate placement for surplus primates
Encouraging compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and animal welfare statutes
Primate Rescue Center Volunteer Information
The Primate Rescue Center relies on the hard work and dedication of volunteers to help ensure that our residents get the high quality care they deserve and that our organization functions efficiently. Our volunteers must appreciate that our residents are not pets, are not used for invasive research, are not for sale or adoption, and do not benefit from exposure to the general public. Our website will help familiarize you with our history and mission, and give you some sense of the vital role that volunteers play in our day-to-day operations.