A Pennsylvania resident brought an alligator to the stadium for emotional support: they were not allowed to attend the game.
A baseball fan and his emotional support animal, an alligator named Wally, were banned from entering a Major League Baseball stadium to meet with Philadelphia Phillies players. But he still hopes that such a meeting will become possible in the future. The publication spoke about this in more detail. CNN.
Joey Henney and Wally were trying to get into the Philadelphia Phillies' Citizens Bank Park on the day of their home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Henney explained that he ended up at the stadium after receiving an invitation to meet with Phillies players and their associates before a game with the Pirates.
However, since they arrived at the stadium late, the players had already left for warm-ups, and Wally was unable to spend any time with them.
“We bought tickets and Wally had been to other baseball games, so we thought it was OK,” Henney said. “We never asked or checked, but only service animals, such as dogs and horses, are allowed into the stadium, not those that provide emotional support.”
“Wally is an emotional support animal, not a service animal. People have criticized me because they don't know what's behind it all. But when they came and said we couldn't be there, there was no disagreement, there was no argument, there was no conflict. Everything was fine,” Henny noted.
He then added: “They have their own rules and we have to follow them. I can’t come in there and make my own rules.”
According to Citizens Bank Park policy, certified service dogs or service dogs in training for guests with special needs are welcome. All other animals are prohibited.
Despite the disappointment, Henney is optimistic that he and Wally will be able to return and face Phillies players before the playoffs begin.
Wally is Henny's emotional support animal who has become an internet sensation and has amassed a large following on social media due to his calm nature and willingness to connect with everyone.
Wally can be seen cuddling in schools, police stations and hospitals, with Henny leading him by the harness.
Henney said last year that he acquired Wally six years ago. Henny, a longtime reptile rescuer who has worked with alligators for 30 years, took him on the advice of a friend who works in Florida.
“There was an oversupply of alligators in that area,” Henney explained.
In Florida, so-called nuisance alligators are subject to either euthanasia or captivity, he explained.
Wally was recovered from a lagoon in Florida, Henney said. His friend brought a baby alligator to Pennsylvania, only 20 inches (50 cm) long and a little over a year old.
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“Wally was completely different from all the alligators I've dealt with over the last 30 years,” Henney noted. – He does not show anger or aggression. He hasn't shown it since the day he was caught. We could never understand why. He's just really sweet: he sleeps with me, he steals my pillows, he steals my blankets. He's just wonderful."
Wally's easy-going nature led to the alligator being licensed as an emotional support animal, Henney said. The alligator comforted him while he was undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.
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