Pair charged with animal cruelty after Sevierville Police find dead monkey in car

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two people are facing charges of animal cruelty following a report of a dead monkey inside a car Wednesday at Soaky Mountain Waterpark.

When Sevierville Police officers arrived around 4:30 p.m., they discovered two marmoset monkeys, a deceased 9-week-old, Kee Kee, and a distressed 5-week-old, inside a car in the parking lot. Kee Kee was being cradled by its owner, Nova Brettell, and rigor mortis appeared to have set in according to the arrest warrant.

The 5-week-old monkey was taken to Appalachian Animal Hospital in Morristown for treatment and is reported to be very dehydrated, but its condition is improving.

The interior heat of the vehicle is believed to be the cause of both the death and distress of the monkeys. The outside air temperature was about 87 degrees at the time. According to, vehicle interior temperature in the summer can rise from 85 degrees to 120 degrees within 30 minutes.

Officers have charged the owners of the monkey. Nova Brettell, 54, of Warsaw, Indiana, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty, and David Paul Brettell, 54, also of Warsaw, Indiana, has been charged with animal cruelty. Additional charges are possible. The investigation is ongoing.

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