Rio Grande Turtle & Tortoise Club

The RGTTC has Box Turtles (Terrapene spp.) and occasionally some species of tortoises and water turtles available for adoption. If you are interested, please follow these steps:

1.     Review the material below and our Adoption Application.

2.     Contact us so we can discuss your interest in chelonians and make sure it appears that a hard-shelled pet is a good fit for your family, life style, and home. 
Be sure to include your phone number so we can talk. The email doesn’t have to be long – this isn’t an application, just a note to let us know you are interested.

3.     Submit an Adoptions Application if we both decide the fit looks promising.

Keep in mind these facts about turtles and tortoises:

​·        They are a very long term commitment – all species live many decades, some in excess of 100 years.  

·        All species have exacting care and dietary requirements to thrive; they cannot just be put in your yard and fend for themselves with a bit of supplemental feeding.  

·        They do not do well in aquariums; they need spacious, well-enriched, predator-proof indoors or outdoors enclosures /sectioned off portion of a yard where they can be carefully managed.

·        Not all species hibernate during the winter; species that don’t hibernate require heated greenhouse or indoor habitats during the cold winter months.

·        They need regular attention, just like any other family pet, making sure there is clean, cool drinking water at all times, a proper diet served every 1-3 days (depending on species and age) that you know they are eating, and regular close inspection to make sure they are they are in good health.

·        Like any pet, turtles and tortoises may require veterinary care if they become ill or are injured; it can be pricey and require an expensive indoor set-up during recovery. We can advise you on what’s needed for such an “R&R set-up.”

·        They are marvelous to watch, but most prefer not to be handled or petted; if you want a pet to hold and cuddle, consider a non-reptile pet.

·        They do not want or need “friends” to be contented pets; most species live mostly solitary lives in the wild and do not form strong long-term social bonds with other animals.

·        They do not need a mate to be “happy;” mixed sex grouping can lead to mature females and juveniles of either sex becoming stressed and possibly suffering injury from relentless sexual advances by mature males.

·        Males innately dislike each other and rarely get along no matter how long they live together.

·        They do not mix with dogs. Most dogs naturally regard these hard-shelled creatures as chew toys and can easily maim and kill them in a matter of seconds.

The Rio Grande Turtle & Tortoise Club will not place turtles and tortoises into mixed sex situations where breeding may occur. There are too many animals in need of homes; we don’t need to add to the surplus population, but instead find good, loving homes for existing animals that still have decades of life ahead of them. 

To learn more or start the adoption process, please review the Adoption Application. When you're ready to apply (after your phone call with the Club adoptions representative), you can fill out the form online, save it to your computer, then email it to the adoptions coordinator. (Note: Do not use the "Send" command in the File menu; this will send only the form, not your entries.) You can also print out a blank copy of the form, complete it by hand, and mail it.