65-Year-Old Chooses An Unusual Source Of Support With Wally the Emotional Support Alligator

Dec 06, 2019 by apost team

We might not be so sure about this one, but here it is. There is a man that uses an alligator like a therapy dog for his depression. While we are not so convinced that this is the correct animal for this role, the man claims that Wally does an exceptionally good job in relieving his depression.

The man from Pennsylvania made headlines when he shared his companion and choice for emotional support to be an alligator. Never would anyone imagine that an alligator can be an emotional support animal. Although this alligator is rather smaller than others and a bit cuter. He is also too small to chop off a leg or a hand at this point.

The name of the unusual pet is Wally. The alligator was brought to Joie Henney’s native York County, Pennsylvania in 2015 when he was only 14 months old, as reported here in The Daily Mail. The alligator also has a special home for himself – a 300-gallon pond inside the home of Henney. He also has friends – the other alligators Luna and Scrappy.


According to Henney,  the new addition to his home was what helped him make it through his depression after the loss of three loved ones. He knew that the alligator was supporting him when he was laying on the cot one day. The alligator came up to him and laid his head on Henney’s face.

After this, Henney began taking Wally to walks throughout the town. Henney had to be registered as a service animal, but that was more complex as a procedure. Instead, the alligator was registered as an emotional support animal.

The difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal is that the first one is trained to support physically disabled people with their tasks while an emotional support animal is one that helps one cope with depression, mental disability, and psychiatric problems.

Most owners have their dogs registered as emotional support pets. There are many exceptions to this rule. Some people register their spiders, turkeys, snakes, and even possums as emotional support animals. With this title, these animals are even allowed to travel with their owners through public transportation and even on some plane journeys.

When Wally goes outside, he is walked on a leash. At home, he roams freely and enjoys a snack of raw meat from different animals. At 4-years-old, Wally is 4.5 feet long. He is expected to grow more than double that size. The leash won’t do much for him at that point.

Would you even consider an alligator for a pet? What do you think of alligators as pets?