Kicker: Emotional support reptile

NICK EICHER, HOST: You’ve heard a lot about emotional support animals these days—dogs, cats, birds, fish—but a reptile?

A doctor in Pennsylvania approved one for a 65-year-old man who needs a little help dealing with depression.

The creature’s name is Wally. To Joie Henney, he’s just a big ol’ teddy bear who likes to hang out on the couch and loves being petted.

Just your standard, everyday lap gator.

REICHARD: What? You mean an alligator?

Yes, Wally is a 4-year-old alligator, rescued just outside of Orlando a few years ago. He’s 5 feet long now. And he’s still a growing boy.

When he’s not snuggling on the couch, he enjoys lounging in his indoor plastic pond.

Henney acknowledged Wally is a wild animal, but he said Wally has never bitten anyone and is even afraid of cats.

Why an alligator? Well, as Joie Henney says “dogs and cats don’t work for me.”

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(Ty Lohr/York Daily Record via AP) Joie Henney holds up Wally, a 4-foot-long emotional support alligator, at the SpiriTrust Lutheran Village in York, Pa.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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