Connect with us

Cute Animals

Emotional Support Alligator Is Cancer Patient’s Best Friend [Video]



  • Wally the alligator was enjoying the water features of LOVE Park in Philadelphia when he caught the national media’s attention.
  • His dad, Joie Henney, has cancer and he brought the alligator to the park for people to have a meet and greet.
  • Wally is a certified emotional support animal that has already been to schools and senior homes for educational purposes.

We are all familiar and get drawn to dogs and cats as emotional support animals (ESA).  In the past years, there has been news of snakes, ducks, cows, horses and other animals that have been certified as ESAs.  But how would you react to an alligator?

Philadelphia’s LOVE Park was the site of a “frenzy” on a Friday when an emotional support alligator named Wally visited the park and enjoyed its water features.


Wally loved spending the day in Love Park, Philadelphia !!#WallyGatorESA ♬ Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen

Maybe because of the gator’s uniqueness and being an unlikely ESA, WallyGator’s day at the park immediately captured the attention of the national media outlets as photos and videos circulated.

His owner, Joie Henney posted a video on Wally’s official TikTok during the visit and captioned it “Wally enjoyed the day in Philadelphia!”  It was meant for the more than 69,000 followers of Wally but maybe after all the attention, there would be more followers.

But Wally’s story began when Henney rescued him in Florida when he was still14 months old.

At the start, Henney used tongs to feed Wally but there was something about Wally that made him feel comfortable to feed him by hand.  True enough, within just a month, Wally turned out to be gentle and happy and would follow Henney around the house.  Henney said, “He wants to be loved and petted.”


WallyGator was so happy to be back at the Swatti swimming with his favorite kids!#wallytheemotionalsupportalligator #WallyGatorESA ♬ Life Is Good – Kenny Chesney

A few months after, Henney started bringing Wally to senior homes and schools for educational purposes.  It was in the schools that he observed how children with developmental issues gravitated towards Wally and enjoyed the animal’s presence.


And in 2018, Wally was certified as an Emotional Support Animal.

Aside from Wally, Henney cares for other reptiles at the Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary and has set up a GoFundMe page for their upkeep and Wally’s.

Wally is also a contender for America’s Favorite Pet Animal Kingdom, where people can vote on their favorite animal. The good news is Wally is now first in his category.  It sure helps that Wally’s profile photo shows him wearing sunglasses and says that he “loves to give hugs!!!”

Knowing Wally’s background, when you see Wally, you would not run away but run towards him.

Source: People