mission statement

The specific purpose for the Society is to foster and adopt out relinquished turtles and tortoises to safe and suitable homes; To educate the public in the proper care of turtles and tortoises; To study all chelonians; To promote conservation; And to maintain communications with, and assist and cooperate with, other diverse organizations that share our goals.

The Society does not encourage the sale of chelonians or their removal from their natural environments.


For over 40 years, the San Diego Turtle and Tortoise Society has been actively rescuing, rehabilitating and adopting out hundreds of turtles and tortoises.  SDTTS is one of the largest rescue societies of its kind in the United States with nearly 500 current members. 

The Society is all-volunteer, enjoys strong corporate support, and has a dedicated and experienced leadership team.  SDTTS publications are recognized for having sound and thorough care and conservation information.

Monthly meetings at Balboa Park are informative and friendly, and feature local veterinarians, care consultants, and nationally known specialists.

Every year the Society presents educational exhibits at many local events, and each summer hosts the San Diego Turtle and Tortoise Show in Balboa Park.

SDTTS is a 501(c)3 non-profit.


Finding good homes for rescued and relinquished turtles and tortoises is one of the Society's primary functions.

The animals that are turned in to the Society are evaluated, placed in foster care, and then adopted out to homes reviewed and approved by our Adoptions Committee.


Whether it be picking up and delivering rescued animals, providing foster care, helping with fund-raisers, or helping out at an event or monthly meeting...  you are always welcome to volunteer for any one of the many opportunities we have to support the Society's mission.


PRESIDENT- Rich Rinde (619) 991-4672

VICE-PRESIDENT- Allison Moorehead (619) 654-0811

2nd VICE-PRESIDENT- Jacqui Castro (858) 444-6844

CORRESPONDENCE- Tracie Allen (858) 780-1874

TREASURER- Debby Wanamaker (760) 525-5281 

SECRETARY- Debbie Sherrell (619) 463-3258

HISTORIAN- Judy Highfill 619-593-2123

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR- Debbie Sherrell (619) 463-3258


     Debbie Sherrell (619) 463-3258

Toni Wood (858) 549-2273


     Judy Highfill (619) 593-2123

Jacqui Castro (858) 444-6844


     Or email:  info@sdturtle.org


WATER TURTLES- Kim Thomas (858) 278-7456

BOX TURTLES- Rich Rinde (619) 991-4672, Toni Wood (858) 549-2273

  SULCATAS- Gary Burrows (619) 573-5652

  DESERTS- Judy Highfill 619-593-2123, Allison Moorehead (619) 654-0811

  RUSSIANS- Debbie Wanamaker (760) 525-5281, Terry Robinson (760) 803-0244


MEMBERSHIP- Debby Wanamaker (membership@sdturtle.org)


NEWSLETTER- Brenna Dunlop (turtletortoise18@gmail.com)