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Emotional Support Alligator?


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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.

 

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