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Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled, Inc.

Cause Area

  • Animals
  • Health & Medicine
  • People with Disabilities
  • Veterans & Military Families


541 Cambridge StreetAllston, MA 02134 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Established in 1979, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled Inc. is a national non-profit 501 (c ) 3 organization that breeds, raises and trains capuchin monkeys to provide daily assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments.

Helping Hands supports each service monkey and his or her human partner during their many years together through interactive mentoring of the placement, and close supervision of the monkey's behavioral, nutritional and veterinary needs.

Relying on private contributions, Helping Hands provides these specially trained service animals and their lifetime support free of charge to our recipients.


For 30 years, Helping Hands has trained service monkeys to assist our recipients with activities of daily living within their home environment only. Many of these essential tasks are uniquely suited to service monkeys including retrieving dropped items such as phones and remote controls from the floor, loading DVDs, pushing buttons on TVs and computers, opening bottles of water, turning pages of a book, adjusting reading glasses, repositioning an arm or a leg on a wheelchair after a muscle spasm and a wide variety of other activities.

Helping Hands has developed a rigorous multi-year socialization and training program that ensures that every monkey is trained using the same standardized procedures and policies that are measured by quantifiable benchmarks that were first established by the U.S. Veterans Administration in 1982. Every Helping Hands monkey receives top quality veterinary care throughout its life. Furthermore, Helping Hands staff members provide 24/7 support services to respond to any questions that may arise for any of its service monkeys and/or their human recipients/caretaker(s.)


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