PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Cody Hession’s Facebook page is loaded with pictures and videos of a Capuchin monkey named Monk.
“The loyalty he has and the loyalty I have to him is like no other. I don’t even know how to explain it,” said Hession.
Cody’s mom, Chrissy, says Monk is part of the family.
“Fell in love with him instantly. He was my first grandbaby," she said.
And it’s because of that bond, Hession says what happened to him is not a joke, despite how it may have been portrayed around the world.
Monk was with Hession last week when Pasco deputies arrested the 23-year-old.
Investigators say Hession drove a stolen car into a ditch.
But Hession says the car belongs to a friend and he had permission to borrow it. That will be for the courts to decide.
As for the monkey, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says they denied Hession a permit because he lied about experience hours.
But Hession says he’s had Monk for four years.
The monkey gave him a hug goodbye as FWC took possession.
“It was heartbreaking to do,” Cody said.
Hession says he was worried authorities would put Monk down. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, a local sanctuary took him in.
“My first thing was to get out and try and find out what I need to do to make sure he’s alright,” said Hession.
“It was really hard for his siblings, then the questions, where is Monk going? What’s going on with Monk? Are we going to see Monk again,” said Chrissy Hession.
Hession is reapplying for the permit, hoping to get one before he’s formally charged for having Monk without a license.
“I’m hoping if I do get approved, which there should be no reason not to, I can get these charges taken care of,” he said.