Pennsylvania parkgoers STUNNED to see young girl walking 'emotional support' alligator Wally on leash

Wally was reportedly registered as an emotional support animal and was adopted by a reptile enthusiast in 2016

Pennsylvania parkgoers STUNNED to see young girl walking 'emotional support' alligator Wally on leash
Wally, the alligator, calmly let strangers pet him at the park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (@brimil/Twitter)
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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Pennsylvania parkgoers relaxing at a fountain were shocked to see a young girl walking an alligator on a leash. Video from Philadelphia's Love Park taken on Friday, August 26, 2022, shows the girl walking the reptile on a leash, with the animal laying on its stomach in a puddle. Wally, the alligator, is an emotional support pet, according to a collar it was wearing. Wally calmly let strangers pet him. 

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Wally, according to the Philly Voice, is a sort of local icon in York, Pennsylvania. Joie Henney, its owner, is a reptile lover who has several gator pets. However, it is unclear who the child walking the animal on Friday is. “I went through a real hard depression and he brought me out of it,” Henney once said in an interview about Wally, New York Post reported. “My doctor wanted to give me anti-depression medicine and I refused to take it,” he added. He chose to spend time with the reptile instead. Henney said that Wally was registered as an emotional support animal and was adopted by the reptile enthusiast in 2016.

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Britt Miller was at the park with her little daughter when she noticed a commotion in the park. "We were just walking by LOVE Park and saw this kid playing with an alligator in the fountain," Miller said, according to the Philly Voice. "Of course, there was a ton of people around taking pictures. The girl (who had the alligator) seemed to be with her family, who were sitting off to the side. They were super friendly. People were picking up the alligator, petting it, all sorts of stuff."

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"It seemed totally calm, I guess, for an alligator, you know?" Miller said. "It wasn't reacting at all." Miller, however, decided that he would not attempt to pet Wally, and neither let her three-month-old child do so. Wally is a very popular gator and has been receiving a lot of press as the leading vote-getter in America’s Favorite Pet Animal Kingdom. This is a popularity contest that supports animal rescue and rehabilitation, and the winner will reportedly get $10,000.

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Henney is battling cancer and has a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of care for Wally, along with his other reptile pets. "We are fundraising to support Joie, WallyGator and Friends Reptile Rescue. We would like to help Joie Henney to be able to feed and care for the reptiles he take in while he is battling cancer," the page reads. At the time of writing, $1,483 had been raised of the $5,000 goal.

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