Man Has Emotional Support Alligator to Help with Depression

Over the past year, people have made headlines for bringing their emotional support animals on airplanes with them. Now, one person is making headlines for the animal that he keeps in his house. Usually, emotional support animals are dogs or cats, but some people have gotten away with having peacocks, mice, snakes, lizards and more.

Joie Henney, 65, has a registered support animal that nobody else probably has. Henney has an emotional support alligator, who lives with him and helps him deal with his depression. The five-foot alligator is named Wally, and enjoys hugs and cuddles, and even has his very own leash.

Henney, who is 65, got Wally as his emotional support animal after his doctor recommended the idea, since Hanny did not want to take heavy medication for his diagnosed depression. When asked about Wally, Henney said,” “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?”


Wally was actually born in Orlando, Fla and abandoned at fourteen months old. Henney was told that Wally could eventually grow to be sixteen feet long. In 2019, Wally will be four years old, really likes to eat chicken wings and according to Henney he has never bitten anyone. The alligator even appears to be very afraid of cats.

Henney knows that the cold-blooded reptile can be dangerous, but he has never been afraid of Wally. “He’s just like a dog, he wants to be loved and petted,” Henney tells people who stop him in public, as Wally regularly accompanies him out of the house. Wally and Henney have also become somewhat famous in the Pennsylvania town where they live, and regularly hold meet and greets for others who want to meet Wally.