I have a turtle and can no longer care for it...

What are my options?

This is a very common problem. There are millions of pet turtles out there without homes. Here at the Turtle Rescue League we get calls all the time from people who want us to come and get their turtle or simply drop it off. Unfortunately, we cannot do that. We would be quickly overwhelmed with turtles, unable to help our native species, or special needs turtles, or even to care for the flood of incoming pets.

The TRL loves turtles, but no agency could just simply take in all turtles that people declare they no longer want. TURTLES ARE THE MOST ABANDONED PET IN THE US. The problem is so bad in other countries, some have banned the importation of non-native turtles. Do not lose hope, there are always options and we can work with you. If you love your turtle, you will put in the effort to help it. There are several options for you, read on.

Turtles can be among the easiest pets to care for. If you are struggling with properly maintaining your turtle, you may be falling victim to one of the the turtle care errors. Click here to see the most common care errors and easy ways of fixing them!

Can't care because - I can't afford them

Glass tanks and hobby aquarium equipment is expensive! Do what the rescues do, and learn to house turtles for less!

creative indoor turtle habitat

a turtle tank showing improper care. Too little water can actually lead to more cleaning!

Can't care because - I'm always cleaning

All your hard work is a result of bad online information. Find out the most common care errors and their easy solutions!

Can't care because - I am headed to college

Turtles are incredibly long-lived. The four years you are away at college is a mere blink in the eyes of your turtle. Use family and friends as temporary homes until you are once again in a stable environment.

An example of an outdoor habitat for a box turtle

Option one: Be creative!

There are cheap and easy ways of updating your habitat that will allow you to keep your pet. If you truly wish to keep your pet, we can help you find ways of making this a viable solution, and it is truly always the best option.

Option two: Find local resources

Seek out resources that are local to you. The closer they are to you, the quicker your animal will find placement. There are very few reptile shelters out there than can take your turtles, but there are many organizations that can work with you to help find your turtle a new home. If you are willing to work with them, they will be happy to work with you.

Option three: Re-home your turtle on your own

There are many great resources available to you that you can utilize on your own. Feel free to post on Facebook, put an ad on Craigslist, or find specific sites such as turtleforum.com. These are all great options; just make sure to screen interested parties before you give them your pets. Not everyone is a qualified home.

You can also make an ad in your local newspaper, or post flyers on community bulletin boards in your town. The possibilities are endless, you just have to know where to look.

Option four: Open a placement case with the TRL

If none of these options work, we would be glad to open a placement case for you. Be warned though that the further you are from us, the longer it will take to place your turtles. We cannot accept turtles into our facility; you will need to provide care for your turtle in the meantime until we are able to locate a new home.

To open a placement case with the Turtle Rescue League, click here