State of California Confiscates Chris Browns’ Pet Monkey; Will He Face Jail Time?


It’s all fun and games until your monkey gets taken away! Chris Brown posted some innocent enough looking posts of his new pet monkey on Instagram late last year.  One picture shows the monkey nestled among shoes. In a video, followers see Browns’ daughter, Royalty, spending some quality time with her new pet.

The posts sparked vigorous debate among Chris Browns’ followers. Instagram user @longletomboy left the following note on Brown’s wall:

“This is just cruel. A monkey is not a pet and deserves to be in his habitat, it’s not a toy you can use to spoil your daughter!! A girl wants attention and love, and that’s more than enough! No need to enslave wild animals to entertain a girl!Learn how to love @chrisbrownofficialand let animals live their life!”

The post offended some followers so much they reported Brown to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A CDFW officer told Page Six that “half a dozen or so” people reported the photo to authorities.

The State of California got a warrant to remove the monkey following a short investigation. Officials executed the warrant on January 2, 2018. As several other news outlets report, Chris Brown could face criminal charges if he didn’t secure the proper permits to keep a monkey.

Via: Instagram @chrisbrownofficial

Exotic animals are illegal in a lot of states. 

California law is pretty restrictive when it comes to keeping wild animals as pets. But it isn’t the only state that forbids residents from keeping these pets. Massachusetts, Kansas, and Hawaii have similar laws banning exotic animal ownership.

The Spruce compiled an overview of state animal laws here if you are interested.

A lot of states, however, allow residents to keep exotic animals with the proper permits.

California has a permitting scheme that allows owners to keep unusual pets. The CDFW issues most exotic pet permits. To get the permit, owners fill out an application. The CDFW decides to either grant or deny the application.

Pretty simple, right?

Well, not exactly. Brown bought a monkey. The CDFW calls monkeys “nonhuman primates.” Nonhuman primate, or NHP, permits are governed by the California Department of Public Health. This means that future monkey parents must go through the CDPH permitting process instead of the CDFW permitting process.

The NHP permitting process is no joke. Pet owners apply for the permit, pay fees, and put their pets in quarantine for 30 days. Finally, the pet must pass a veterinary inspection before owners can take their pet home.


Chris Browns’ monkey could pose a threat to public health. 

California Department of Public Health controls permits for monkeys because monkeys could pose a threat to public health. The CDPH wants to make sure these animals aren’t bringing rabies or tuberculosis (just to name two diseases) into the state.

It’s the State’s job to protect its citizens. Apparently, the California legislature believes this is an appropriate step to take in pursuit of that goal.


Jail time is not likely. 

If the State Attorney chooses to bring charges against Chris Brown, jail time is not likely. TMZ reports that Brown’s offense carries up to six-months jail time. While this is true, it’s more likely that Brown will pay a fine versus go to jail.


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