Rescue & Adoptions

Rescue & Adoptions Policies

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Northwest Tortoise will not ship outside WA, OR or ID while providers are not guaranteeing delivery dates and/or times. When this changes, shipping will resume.

Northwest Tortoise does not take water turtles. Water turtles are in great need of rescue resources. If you have a water turtle to surrender, send a request for a list of rescues in the northwest via the contact us link at the bottom of the home page.

“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 rehabilitate and rehome, not keep indefinitely. Space is limited and sometimes the surrender cannot be accepted. If you have a turtle/tortoise you are thinking about surrendering surrender process and follow instructions.

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 $20 handling fee will apply.
  5. Terms and conditions: Northwest Tortoise does it’s very best to provide a healthy turtle/tortoise at adoption. However, no guarantees can be made because of the nature of rescue. Most turtles/tortoises are surrendered with little to no information. Northwest Tortoise operates in good faith and will not knowingly adopt an unhealthy turtle/tortoise to anyone.  All fees are non-refundable.

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, 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 the adoption application 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.

*If you do not see an email, check your junk and/or spam folder.