FOR ANSWERS ABOUT ANIMAL CARE
On this page are links to (view/print/download) our PDF turtle and tortoise care sheets. The care sheets are very detailed and contain practical advice from our experienced Care Coordinators. Take the time read through them and you will find many useful answers - maybe to questions you did not know you had!
Common Turtles and Tortoises...
TURTLES A water turtle may venture away from its pond for some
"sun and fun." But it still needs to be submerged a majority of the
time to survive. Identify a water turtle by large webbed back feet.
Water turtles must have water to swim in or their shells and skin will
dry out. Care sheets:
SDTTS Outdoor Water Turtle Care Sheet (Ponds)
SDTTS Water Turtle Care Sheet (Indoor Aquariums)
FDA Salmonella Warning for Turtle Owners
TURTLES OR TERRAPINS Land turtles include "box" turtles,
because their shells are higher than other turtles, looking more like a
WWII infantry helmet. This is typical of land turtles. They
have back feet that may be slightly webbed, but not flat bottomed feet
as a tortoise or as broad "paddle" feet like a water turtle. Land
turtles do not have to live in ponds to survive, but should always have
a shallow dish of water to soak in. Care sheets:
SDTTS Box Turtle
SMALL TORTOISES -
Tortoises are more land based than turtles. Adult tortoises are usually larger than
turtles (but not so for juveniles.) But there are smaller
viarieties of tortoises. Identify tortoises by their thick,
stalky back legs that are shaped similar to a elephant's. Many tortoises
have spiny scales on their front legs to help them burrow in the earth.
Some favorite small tortoises include:
SDTTS Red Footed Tortoise Care Sheet
SDTTS Hermanns Tortoise Care Sheet
SDTTS Russian Tortoise Care Sheet
SDTTS Easy-to-Build Small Tortoise House Plans
DESERT TORTOISES from the North American southwest are medium size tortoises and they have adapted to living in dry, arid climates. Endangered, and protected
by law, these interesting creatures should not be handled or disturbed in the wild. But numerous ones have reached civilization and you can get
California permits to legally care for those. Care sheets:
SDTTS Desert Tortoise Care Sheet
SDTTS Special San Diego Care Sheet - Desert Tortoise
About Bladder Stones In Tortoises
How to Obtain California Desert Tortoise Permits
SULCATA TORTOISES are the gentle giants you often see on
display. Only the giant tortoises of the Galapagos and Aldabra
Islands exceed the Sulcata in size. The adorable little hatchling that
fits in the palm of your hand at the pet store, can in five short years
weigh more than 50 pounds and when fully grown can weigh from 140 to 200
pounds. But these tortoises, when well cared for, can live for over 100
SDTTS African Sulcata Tortoise Care Sheet
FOR ADDITIONAL HELP - CONTACT US
We are an all volunteer organization with no paid staff. Please be patient.
The best way to contact us is by email. Include your (1) name,(2) phone number, and (3) the area of San Diego County where you are. Send your email to...
QUESTIONS ABOUT ANIMAL CARE We have turtle and tortoise care experts that can help you find the answers you need. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ADOPTION REQUESTS Go to our adoptions page, and follow the four-steps-to-adopt listed there. Then if you have questions: email@example.com
Frequently used SDTTS forms ...
Currently available for adoption ...
"Live" Listings of SDTTS Animals Available