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This summer, American Tortoise Rescue lost a number of our more memorable old or special turtles. It's been tough, but rather than adopting challenging cases out to new homes, we bring the most seriously deformed or sick tortoises here to the rescue. That often means more heartbreak for us.

This week, a beautiful South American wood turtle named Jamey, who came to us less than a year ago, crossed the Rainbow Bridge after a valiant fight with a prolonged mystery illness. She was lively and loved her worms and the sun. But in April, we found her listless in the middle of the turtle rescue. A week-long stay with Veterinary Angels Medical Center helped her grow a little stronger, but hand feeding and daily soaks, as well as time in the sun with her turtle friends, did not change the fact that she was slowly deteriorating. This week, we saw Dr. Martin at Westlake Animal Hospital, and he recommended euthanasia.  As hard as it was, we did not want to prolong her suffering.

RIP Jamey. We learned a lot from your will to live, and we will always miss you. Jamey is buried in a beautiful place under a tree surrounded by birds, squirrels and other animals. A statue of St. Francis stands watch over her.


Veterinary care for exotics like Jamey is very costly. Her first visit to the vet alone was more than $700. Since we are an all-volunteer nonprofit and have never taken salaries, all monies go to turtles and tortoises in need. Each time we have a medical visit, it depletes our savings. Turtles and tortoises do not get the donation love that cats and dogs and other furry creatures do.

So we are constantly in need of raising funds to care for our shelled creatures. Money raised here will go to veterinary care for our more than 100 resident turtles and tortoises, as well as for individuals who cannot afford care for their turtles or tortoises and qualify for our help.

Please donate to the Jamey Fund for Medical Care on GoFundMe.com so that other turtles and tortoises in need of veterinary support can enjoy the benefits of expert care. Bless you.

Love, Susan and Marshall



Open Letter to Parents Regarding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie

Dear Parents:

We’re asking you to save a turtle’s life and perhaps even your child’s. What can you do to help? Buy Ninja action figures and toys instead of live turtles. This month, your children will be enjoying the extremely popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. It’s fun and great entertainment.

We are writing to ask for your help. Since the first movie was released in 1990, hundreds of thousands of live turtles, mostly water turtles called red eared sliders, were purchased for between $10 and $25 after each ninja movie was released. The result?  Many, if not most, were dumped and even deliberately killed or flushed down the toilet.

Children do not realize that real turtles do not fly, perform stunts or do any of the exciting moves fictional movie turtles do. Parents, trying to please their children, purchase live turtles which end up languishing in tanks. Most of these turtles are taken out of the wild and sold through pet stores, breeders, swap meets, flea markets and mercados for profit. Later, the turtles are dumped illegally into rivers and lakes as well as dumpsters, flushed down toilets or relinquished to shelters and overcrowded rescues.  It’s estimated that 90 percent die. 

Turtles carry salmonella which can make a child, the elderly and those who are immune suppressed very, very sick and can even kill them. That’s why turtles less than four inches were banned from sale in the U.S. in 1974 and still are…tiny turtles easily fit into a child’s mouth and children don’t wash their hands after touching turtles. It’s an ugly problem causing nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and even death. We do not recommend live turtles or tortoises for children under 13 because of salmonella exposure.

Turtles have been around for 200 million years and outlived the dinosaur.  Is this the way we want to treat our precious disappearing wildlife? Save a turtle’s life, and perhaps even your child’s.

Please watch this great video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2PD3kLfYlA.

Thank you.  Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, Co-Founders

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 Five Ways Turtles and Tortoises Say "I Love You!"
1. They smack their lips when they see you coming.
2. They go to bed without prodding.
3. They look right at you.
4. They always look like they're smiling.
5. They swim right up to you.

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kidkissingturtle.jpgYou see a cute reptile, I see a Salmonella factory. Multiple states, US Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine investigated two multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with small turtles in 2015. Read more by following this link…http://barfblog.com/2015/10/more-turtles-more-salmonella



Please like us on Facebook at American Tortoise Rescue and follow us on Twitter at @tortoiserescue.  Make our turtles happy!


Happy New Year 2015! Click to see our video message!


Do You Like Shopping at Amazon.com As Much As We Do?

Well, please join the crowd and sign up for Amazon Smile!  Just select American Tortoise Rescue as your charity, and from then on for every purchase you make (it's automatic), we get .05% of the total order.  It's simple.  Want to help?  Just click this link.


Love, Susan and Marshall

Evil Knievel - Resident Troublemaker

American Tortoise Rescue

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Welcome to American Tortoise Rescue from Popcorn the Sulcata

Check it out

Download Now! Click Here - Where Have All The Turtles Gone" A PowerPoint Presentation


This is Bunkle, the very first land turtle we rescued in 1990He is the boss of the turtle yard and is a total lady's man.  He is also the rescue's mascot.

Mission Statement


American Tortoise Rescue is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to the protection of turtles and tortoises throughout the world.  

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