The Issue: Modern Challenges Face Turtle Populations
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 turtles and tortoises due to their need for fresh fruits, vegetables, hay, and special worms.
The Campaign: Planting Fruit Trees to Feed Rescued Turtles
If 60 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then American Tortoise Rescue can plant three 7- to 9-year-old fruit trees to help feed box turtles and south american tortoises. American Tortoise Rescue will receive the already-mature fruit trees from the local Moon Mountain Farms. Each additional $200 raised will fund an additional fruit tree to expand the orchard. Any funds raised past $1,000 will go toward the Rosie Fund and toward purchasing a 2,000-gallon vertical plastic storage tank that will help the rescue maintain a clean-water supply during emergencies and draughts.
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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.
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