Rescue & Adoptions

Rescue & Adoptions Policies

I’m sorry to advise until further notice I cannot accept water turtles. Water turtles are in great need of rescue resources. However, I do not have the space to house them. Water turtles are EXTREMELY hard to place and rescues are overrun with them. I do not know of any rescues taking them at this time.

October 2017: I’m sorry to have to announce that until further notice I cannot take in any more rescues. I wish I didn’t have to write this post but my choices are simple: Expend all my time and energy helping torts and continue careening towards the inevitable rescuers burnout or cut intakes until I not only get my head above water, but can actually float. Read more…

“Turtles need rescuing?” “Yes, unfortunately,” is always the answer. Just like any other captive animal, humans have an incredible ability to mistreat them. Whether it’s improper care, outright abuse or as simple as the owner looses interest, they deserve a better home.

The goal is to rehabilitate them until they are healthy and adopt them to people who have done their research and really understand what it takes to keep a turtle/tortoise for life. Turtles and tortoises are not ‘throw away’ pets. They are exotic pets and require a deep level of understanding of the species in order to provide a lifetime home.

Northwest Tortoise invests extensive time vetting potential owners. If you are looking for a quick turtle/tortoise and expect to fill out a form and get immediate approval its recommend you look elsewhere.

Surrendering a turtle/tortoise

Northwest Tortoise is not a sanctuary. The goal is to rehab and rehome, not keep indefinitely. Space is limited and sometimes I cannot accept the surrender. If this is the case, I’ll do my best to refer other places that may be able to take your turtle/tortoise or place it on a waiting list. Contact me via email terese@northwesttortoise.org (or use the contact us link at the bottom of the menu on the home page) to discuss potential surrender. Northwest Tortoise does not charge a surrender fee.

Adoption policies

  1. Must be 18 years or older. Younger than 18 will need parental permission.
  2. All fees will be paid prior to shipping/pick up.
  3. Shipping charges will be the recipients responsibility. A $20 handling fee will be added. This will cover proper shipping containers, packing and delivering to shipping site. (Adoptions requiring Delta Dash will be considered on an individual basis)
  4. If an arrangement of meeting somewhere is determined a $10 handling fee will apply.

Placing deposits to hold an animal:

It’s common to place a deposit on a specific animal to wait for warm weather for shipping or other reasons. In this case the following guidelines apply:

  1. A non-refundable 50% deposit must be made. If the adopter changes their mind for any reason the deposit is forfeited. If the animal dies or is injured the buyer will have a choice of a replacement animal if one is available and agreed upon. If one is not available or agreed upon the buyer may choose a refund or keep the deposit on file to choose from the next available group.

How to apply to adopt

If you are interested in adopting a rescue, please follow the following steps:

  1. Fill out the initial contact form (pdf or word) then email to terese@northwesttortoise.org, subject tortoise (or use the contact us link at the bottom of the menu on the home page). The form consists of basic information such as location, species interested in and experience level. After the form is received it will allow for better understanding of the potential adopter and matching him/her with a turtle/tortoise.
  2. After a potential match is made more forms will follow. Housing, lighting, diet and all aspects of turtle/tortoise care will be discussed.  First-time owners are welcome. This process is not an easy or quick way to get a turtle/tortoise. I will not skimp on screening potential adopters! If you are dedicated enough to own a turtle/tortoise you are dedicated enough to go through the screening process!
  3. If you are approved payment/shipping/delivery will be discussed.

Please keep in mind I do work an actual job that takes 40+ hours of my week. Additionally I do not have an army of volunteers helping me. I try to respond within 24 hours.