Yes, your read that correct. Your eyes are not deceiving you. In the ever growing world of emotional support animals – someone out there actually made their alligator an emotional support animal.
In January 2019, a Pennsylvania man name Joie Henney (65) made all the headlines when he said that he registered his pet alligator named Wally as an emotional support animal. According to Henney, his pet alligator, which measures nearly 5 feet in length, gives him emotional support by snuggling with him and giving him hugs.
It all started when three of his closest friends all passed away within one week. This caused him to fall into a pit of depression. When his doctor offered to prescribe him medication to battle his depression, he refused. Instead, he asked his doctor to approve making his pet alligator Wally an emotional support animal. Check out the video below!
The world’s first emotional support alligator?
His doctor was rather progressive in this instance. He figured that if his patient Joie believed it would help, they might as well give it a shot. They did just that. To this day, Wally continues to provide comfort and support for Joie. And Joie is happy as can be. To top it off, he also brings Wally with him to nursing homes around Pennsylvania so that he can provide comfort to others as well. It should also be noted that Joie also sells autographed photos of Wally to raise money for a boy living with autism in West Virginia. While Joie acknowledges that Wally is still a potentially dangerous alligator, he insists that he has never come close to causing physical harm to any humans. He says he acts just like a big dog.
To be clear, this is a true anomaly situation. However, at Instant ESA we love to see far out stories like this, especially when people get the help they need. Even if an alligator is not a traditional animal that is used for emotional support, just the fact that there is one out there who has provided joy to humans makes us happy.
At the end of the day, a world where animals are providing comfort and support for humans is the best one!