Emotional support alligator visits Pennsylvania senior facility to offer comfort

When you think of emotional support animals, cold-blooded alligators probably aren't the first thing that comes to mind.

But Wally, a 3-year-old, 4.5-feet-long reptile, plies his trade doing exactly that, and earlier this week, took some time out of his busy schedule to pay a visit to a senior living facility in Pennsylvania and offer some comfort.

His owner, Joie Henney, took Wally to SpiriTrust Lutheran Village in York, Pennsylvania, on Monday, FOX 13 reported.

A few residents were hesitant to get close to Wally but Henney encouraged them to get to know the friendly reptile.

"I'm not scared of snakes but that thing has a lot of teeth,” a resident told the York Daily Record.

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Henney told the resident that Wally likes his head rubbed.

"He's just like a dog," Henney said. "He wants to be loved and petted."

The residents asked a lot of questions like what Wally does for most of his day.

“He’ll lay there all day long,” Henney said of Wally. “That’s what he does. He’s pretty lazy.”

Wally was rescued from Florida after a congregation of gators was slated to be destroyed in order to build a development on the land. Henney and his friend offered to help rescue the gators.

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Wally went to live with Henney at his residence in Strinestown, Pennsylvania, in September 2015 when the reptile was 14 months old. The owner said Wally was “afraid of everything” but started to adjust after some time.

"He was like a little puppy dog," Henney told the York Daily Record. "He would follow us around the house."

Henney said Wally likes to watch television and his favorite movie is “The Lion King.” The alligator lives in a 300-gallon pond with his fellow gator Scrappy, who is 2 years old.

The owner said Wally has “never bitten” him and is a calm alligator.

“Wally’s never bitten me and he’s never tried to bite anyone. He’s pretty laid-back,” he said.

Henney is aware that alligators are not everyone’s cup of tea.

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“They aren’t for everyone,” he said. “But what can I say. I’m not normal.”