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Pennsylvania Man Searches for Missing Emotional Support Alligator, Wally, After Vacation in Georgia

May 2, 2024




Jonestown, Pennsylvania – “We need all the help we can get to bring my baby back,” expressed Joie Henney, a Pennsylvania resident, in a tearful video plea on TikTok, as he embarks on a desperate search for his cherished emotional support alligator, Wally. This follows Wally’s mysterious disappearance during a recent vacation to the coast of Georgia. For nearly a decade, Henney has relied on Wally for companionship and emotional relief from depression.

“Wally has never tried to bite no one,” Henney revealed in previous statements to The Philadelphia Inquirer, emphasizing the gentle nature of his unusual companion. However, Henney’s world was shattered when Wally vanished during their April vacation in Brunswick, Georgia, prompting suspicions of foul play.

“We need all the help we can get to bring my baby back,” Henney reiterated, imploring the public to aid in locating Wally, who he believes was stolen from the fenced outdoor enclosure where he spent the night on April 21. According to Henney’s social media posts, pranksters left Wally outside a residence, leading to his capture and purported release into the wild.

“Please, we need your help,” pleaded Henney, his voice trembling with emotion, as he remains unavailable for further comment amid the ongoing search for Wally.

Henney’s bond with Wally dates back to 2015 when he rescued the alligator as a 14-month-old in Florida, following the deaths of several close friends. Endorsed by a treating physician as his emotional support animal, Wally became an integral part of Henney’s life, providing solace during his darkest moments.

Despite the lack of police reports regarding Wally’s disappearance in Brunswick and surrounding Glynn County, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources acknowledged receiving a report of a nuisance alligator on the day Wally vanished. However, it remains unclear if Wally was the captured reptile.

“Can you get attached to a reptile? Can it bring you comfort? I would say yes,” affirmed Lori Kogan, a psychologist and Colorado State University professor specializing in human-animal interactions, reflecting on the potential for animals like Wally to provide emotional support.

As Henney continues his search for Wally, the fate of their extraordinary bond hangs in the balance, underscoring the profound connection between humans and animals in times of need.



Credit: AP

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