Emotional Support Alligators Are a Thing Now


USA Today (Photo: Ty Lohr, York Daily Record)

We really thought we had seen it all when last year when a lady tried to board a plane with her emotional support peacock.  Now we’ve learned that yet another exotic animal has crossed over into the murky world of support animals.  According to a recent article in USA Today, a man in Pennsylvania has been taking his emotional support alligator to visit with folks living in retirement centers.  Apparently, Wally the 4.5 foot alligator behaves just like a dog, at least according to his owner, Joie.  Interestingly Joie also cautioned that you do have to be careful around him because “at any given moment, he could bite your thumb off.”  Indeed….We can’t make this stuff up folks.  USA Today also pointed out how easy it was to have an animal “certified” as an emotional support animal/critter:

“… Any animal could be an emotional support critter — donkeys, skunks, ferrets, anything. Why not a gator? Joie wondered”

“Pretty much all you have to do to get an animal classified as an emotional support animal is go online and register. No special training is required.”

Click here to read the full story on USAToday.com.


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Director of Education & Outreach, National Real Estate Investors Association

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