A Missouri woman is fighting to keep three monkeys she says help her cope with her post-traumatic stress disorder after her neighbors have expressed concerns they are dangerous.
"I could never give them up, they saved me," Texanne McBride-Teahan told InsideEdition.com of Kalie Anna, a bonnet macaque, Paula, a black-capped capuchin and Zoey, a patas monkey.
McBride-Teahan told CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV she has trained monkeys for 20 years and that all three are harmless.
But one of the people living in her Creve Couer, Missouri, neighborhood said the animals belong in zoos or back in the wild.
"I believe in the rule of law. If they are considered a dangerous animal and can carry something as nasty as hepatitis, they shouldn't be here," Jim Hentschell told KMOV.
Concerned neighbors brought the issue up at a Creve Coeur City Council meeting. The city laws state that "non-human primates" are "inherently dangerous" animals, as well as lions, tigers, leopards, hyenas, wolves, alligators, crocodiles and venomous reptiles, among others.
At the meeting, McBride-Teahan told the city council: "They are not dangerous animals. They are trained. They assist me. I have PTSD because of something that happened to me, a very bad thing that happened to me a long time ago," KMOV reported.
McBride-Teahan's mental health counselor confirmed to KMOV in a statement that the animals are for her emotional support.
"I have prescribed Ms. McBride-Teahan to keep one or more primates to serve as emotional support animals. It is my professional opinion that the presence of these animals is a necessary treatment for the mental health of Ms. McBride-Teahan," the statement read.
For now, the monkeys are still living with McBride-Teahan ahead of a November hearing.
If she loses, she said, she would be forced to move because she would not give the monkeys up.