A Glen Burnie woman--torn between rabies shots for her 69-year-old father and killing her pet monkey that bit him--was ordered today to turn over the monkey to Anne Arundel County animal-control officials. But neither Joanne Kolodnicki nor her monkey, Missy, could be found.
Kolodnicki, 41, who has owned the black spider monkey for seven years, was ordered by Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge James L. Wray to turn the monkey over to the Animal Control Agency, which said it fears the monkey could be rabid.
Last week, Kolodnicki fought repeated attempts by agency officials to take her pet.
Only a few instances of rabies in bats have been reported in Anne Arundel this year, but health officials say they expect the rabies outbreak of epidemic proportions among wild animals--particularly in raccoons--in Montgomery, Frederick and Howard counties to appear here by fall.
Kolodnicki was ordered to turn her monkey over to be killed and tested for rabies after it bit her father, John Kolodnicki, on the hand Aug. 6 at her home in Glen Burnie. Animals must be killed to be examined for rabies, officials said.
At first, she agreed to surrender Missy, to spare her father, who refused to take rabies shots, but when a county animal-control agent came to her house three days later, she would not relinquish it, contending that the monkey is healthy.
Instead, she and the monkey accompanied the agent to the Animal Control Agency, where she assured officials she would either turn it over or her father would take shots.
"Rabies in humans is almost always a fatal viral disease," said Dr. J. Howard Beard, county health officer, who said the woman did not respond to his notification two days later that she would have to give up the monkey or be fined up to $500.
Last Thursday, she refused to disclose the monkey's whereabouts. Subsequently, officials obtained a search warrant for her home but neither the monkey nor its owner was found, according to court papers filed today.
In an affidavit, officials said they found a pet door at the house that allowed the monkey access to the outdoors, increasing their concern that it could have come in contact with wild animals, the most frequent carriers of rabies.
Kolodnicki has been ordered to appear in court Wednesday to show why the monkey should not be destroyed. She faces a $100-a-day fine for not complying with today's court order.