Skip to Content

This Cuddly Alligator Is a Licensed Emotional Support Pet

alligator being petted

Are you ready to meet Wally the Alligator – perhaps the most atypical emotional support pet?

this alligator is a licensed emotional support pet
©JOIE HENNEY/FACEBOOK

When we think of emotional support animals, images of dogs, cats, or even birds might come to mind. But an alligator? That’s a new one.

The phrase “alligator emotional support pet” might sound bizarre to many, but for Henney and those who’ve met Wally, it’s a reality that has brought joy, education, and, most importantly, emotional solace.

What Is a Licensed Emotional Support Pet?

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a type of assistance animal specifically designated to help individuals cope with mental or emotional disabilities.

Unlike service animals, which are trained to perform specific tasks, ESAs provide therapeutic benefits through companionship. They are prescribed by licensed mental health professionals as part of a treatment plan.

The prescription is given in the form of an official document called an ESA Letter, which confirms the individual’s need for the support animal.

Get to know an Alligator named Fluffy here.

The Unusual Emotional Support Pet: A Gator with a Heart of Gold

YouTube video
iWonder

Wally isn’t your typical alligator. Rescued from a pond in Disney World, he was taken in by Henney when relocating alligators in Florida was deemed illegal.

Now, Wally resides in Henney’s home, enjoying a diet of Cheetos and chicken legs.

But what’s truly remarkable about Wally isn’t his unconventional diet or his unique living situation. It’s his temperament.

Unlike other alligators, Wally doesn’t show any aggression. Henney even remarks that while most alligators would instinctively bite when their heads are touched, Wally simply refuses.

More Than Just a Pet

The bond between Henney and Wally is extraordinary.

Describing Wally as his “emotional support alligator,” Henney opened up about facing deep depression after losing close ones. Wally especially comforted Henney following his cancer diagnosis.

During this challenging period, Wally’s behavior shifted. He became more affectionate, almost as if sensing Henney’s emotional turmoil.

Henney recalls moments when he’d wake up from the couch with Wally’s jaw print on his face, indicating that the alligator had been resting there for a while.

Wally wasn’t just a pet; he was a companion providing emotional support in the truest sense.

Bear in mind that Wally is one of a kind – read this post about a man who saves his puppy from the jaws of an Alligator.

Wally’s Adventures

alligator being petted
Wally making a visit at a senior living facility
©Fox13News

The alligator emotional support pet isn’t confined to the four walls of Henney’s home.

Wally has been on numerous adventures, from visiting doctor’s offices to being a ring bearer at a wedding. He’s even visited senior living facilities, where, despite initial apprehensions, he managed to win over residents.

Henney’s efforts to introduce Wally to various settings aim to educate people about alligators and break the stereotypes associated with these reptiles.

And it seems to be working – many who’ve interacted with Wally compare him to a cuddly dog.

A Symbol of Hope and Understanding

Wally’s story is more than just an interesting anecdote about an alligator living in a house. It’s a testament to the incredible bonds that can form between humans and animals, even those we might initially fear or misunderstand.

Wally’s a living example that challenges our perceptions and encourages us to approach life with an open heart and mind.

The Alligator That Is an Emotional Support Pet: Wrapping Up

YouTube video

In a world where the term “alligator emotional support pet” can exist and thrive, it’s clear that love, understanding, and compassion can be found in the most unexpected places.

And as Henney aptly puts it, while alligators “aren’t for everyone,” neither is being normal.

Sometimes, it’s the unconventional paths that lead us to the most profound discoveries about ourselves and the world around us.

Thank you for reading this article about the alligator that is an emotional support pet! If you’re in the mood for more gators, take a look at these posts:

From bats to cats, over 700 Species Discovered in Cambodian Mangroves Man Brushes Hippo’s Teeth Mama Elephant Stops Baby From Getting Into Safari Jeep Watch the Rock Catch a Massive Fish Baby Seal Protects Its Friend From Rescuer