It takes all kinds.
Sixty-five-year old Joie Henney cuddles with Wally, his 60-pound pet alligator, to alleviate his depression.
Recently, three of Henney's lifelong (human) friends died, one after the other. Henney became terribly depressed, and his doctor wanted to put him on medication.But Henney (who, to my surprise, was from Pennsylvania, not Florida) didn't want pills. Instead, he found his pet alligator soothed his soul. His doctor agreed that Wally worked as an emotional support animal.
“I had Wally, and when I came home and was around him, it was all OK,” he said. “My doctor knew about Wally and figured it works, so why not?”
He rescued the alligator from Florida (there we go) when he was 14 months old and has been caring for him ever since.
“You know, whatever works for you,” Henney said. “Dogs and cats don’t work for me.”
Wally reportedly likes to cuddle. Henney has taken him to minor-league baseball games and senior centers.
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Joie Henney’s emotional support animal is a head turner. Meet Wally the alligator. Wally is around 3 years old, about 4 ½ feet long, with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and large eyes. He likes to hang out on the couch and rumple a perfectly made bed. Henney said Wally is like a dog who wants to be loved and petted. Read more at WSBradio.com #alligator #emotionalsupportanimal #wsbradio
“He has never tried to bite no one,” Henney said. “I don’t push him on to people. I tell people to respect him, not fear him. He will not hurt you.”
The alligator could grow up to 16 feet long and weigh 1,100 pounds.
“He likes to give hugs,” Henney said. “We caress and wrestle. He loves to wrestle. He whacks me with his tail.”