The Issue: Injured Tortoises Requiring Special Care
Though turtles and tortoises have survived in the wild for more than 200 million years, their numbers are dwindling due to the exotic-food industry, habitat destruction, and the pet trade. When these animals are injured or abandoned, they can have a difficult time finding adoptive families because they lack the immediate appeal of a furry companion animal. Financial constraints also impact the care for ill and injured turtles and tortoises due to their need for special heat, medicine, and medical care.
The Campaign: Updating Accommodations in the Turtle Hospital
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by American Tortoise Rescue to implement necessary construction on their turtle hospital. With the first $500 raised, American Tortoise Rescue can rebuild the hospital’s entire concrete floor. The organization has a total goal of $1,975 for this campaign, which they will use to put in electrical wiring for lighting and a fan, install shelving and bookcases, paint the interior walls, rebuild a closet for medical supplies, and purchase furniture to support the turtle tanks.
American Tortoise Rescue’s turtle hospital is operating with outdated accommodations and storage. Medical books and supplies are stored in cartons and the animals don’t always have a comfortable place to stay when they are ill or injured. Within the hospital, they often live in boxes or office trash bags with heating pads. Because the organization cares for all of its injured turtles for the rest of their lives, its needs to transform the hospital into a high quality space where as many turtles as possible can rest and recover.
American Tortoise Rescue
American Tortoise Rescue was founded by husband-and-wife team Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, who began advocating for the humane treatment of animals after adopting a pair of desert-tortoise hatchlings. Since that first adoption, their organization has rescued more than 3,000 turtles and tortoises of various land and water species, focusing their efforts on abused turtles or those with special needs—and has expanded its scope to the treatment of these animals worldwide.
At American Tortoise Rescue's facility, approximately 125 animals live in an enclosure that mimics the wild, having freedom to play on the ground or surf in the water. Sick turtles receive medical care from the all-volunteer staff, and stay in the house—or "turtle hospital"—until they're healthy enough to go outside. And to supplement these rescue efforts, the organization also provides information and awareness about the care and rehabilitation of tortoises for the public, working to prevent the sale of hatchlings, the importation and live-market slaughter of adult turtles, and the destruction of the desert-tortoise habitat.