Emotional Support Alligator Denied Entrance To Phillies-Pirates Game

A fan attempting to enter a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates was denied entry due to his emotional support animal, an alligator names WallyGator.

Friday, September 29th 2023, 10:12 am

By: CBS News

A Phillies fan and his emotional support animal, an alligator named WallyGator, were denied entrance to watch Philadelphia host the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Social media posts showed the gator on a leash with a harness with his name on it outside the stadium Wednesday.

WallyGator is a working emotional support alligator owned by Joie Henney, of Jonestown, Pennsylvania. The reptile has a big presence on Instagram and TikTok.

Citizens Bank Park's policy on support animals is posted on the Phillies' official website. It states, "Guide dogs, service animals, or service animals in training are welcome. All other animals are prohibited."

Henney talked to CBS News last year and said his bond with Wally is "very special." Wally was found in a pond in Disney World, and since it's illegal in Florida to relocate alligators to another spot in the wild, Henney said he agreed to take him in.

Henney said he fell into a deep depression after losing some people close to him. Around the same time, Wally stepped up and became more affectionate, like he was sensing Henney's needs.

"I'd lay on the couch, and I'd wake up and he'd be laying on my head," Henney told CBS News. "And I knew it was for a long period of time because I had his whole jaw print on my face."

Henney said he started talking Wally everywhere, from the doctor's office to the drive-thru. He said his depression has improved, thanks to Wally.

"I'll get lonely and stuff like that and he seems to sense that stuff and he'll come up and he'll give me a hug," Henney said, adding that Wally "makes me feel loved."

The Phillies ended up winning on Wednesday, beating the Pirates 7-6.


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