Emotional support animals have grown in popularity recently, with many people welcoming them into their homes. Most support animals are dogs, but sometimes you can find a cat, bunny, horse, or another animal that fits the criteria.
Joie Henney may have one of the most unusual emotional support animals to date, though: an alligator.
Wally the alligator (also known as WallyGator) was rescued from the wild by one of Joie’s friends. Joie loves reptiles and has a whole room dedicated to them in his home.
When he heard of Wally a few years ago, he knew the gator would be a great fit for his family. You see, Joie was suffering from depression at the time and looking for some support.
Joie explained in a short documentary, “I lost three family members and four lifelong friends in two weeks. Depression, it just hit me hard. I really needed emotional support, and a friend of mine rescues gators.”
While alligators may not seem like the most cuddly or loving animals, Joie says Wally loves to get cuddles, kisses, and hugs. The two even sit together on the couch and watch television!
Wally is around 5-feet-long and weighs 60 pounds. He’s not huge, but his razor-sharp teeth can be intimidating to those who don’t know him. Many people are hesitant about getting up close with an alligator, but Wally is not like most alligators.
When Joie was diagnosed with cancer, Wally was right by his side and even accompanied him to radiation appointments. A GoFundMe has been started for Joie to help raise money so he can continue to care for Wally and his other pets while battling cancer.
As you can imagine, feeding an alligator isn’t cheap! They eat a good amount of meat every month and it can run up quite a tab.
You can learn more about WallyGator in the video below: