Skip to content

Emotional Support Alligator?


This story worries me, it’s just not acceptable to have an emotional support alligator.

Joie Henney in the UK walks into local nursing home or assisted living facility as well as local schools in England providing emotional support with Wally, his 3 year old and over 4-foot long reptile on a leash.

I have no issue with taking Wally into schools for education program, but senior living facilities where people interact with the reptile is another story. A program where Henney – as he does in schools – only educating is a good thing. However, interacting with a reptile in a way which Henney encourages is potentially dangerous. I realize this gator was hand-raised and has never bitten, but Wally is an alligator not a domestic animal. There is still a component of unpredictability, no matter what the owner says. Also alligators can potentially spread salmonella, which in an aging population is particularly concerning.  While hand-washing is protection, will the senior hand wash? And there are instance of seniors even kissing Wally. I am not a fan.


Get My Newsletter!

Keep up with the latest pet news with the EXCLUSIVE STEVE DALE NEWSLETTER!

So, Who is Steve Dale?


Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

Book Credits

Learn more about the numerous books Steve has contributed to and authored!

Article Archive

Interested in reading past articles? Just use the dropdown to select a topic!



Like Us on Facebook

Follow Steve Dale on Social Media!

© Steve Dale All Rights Reserved


Steve Dale Pet World