rescue services

Please contact the society to report lost and found box turtles or tortoises in San Diego county, or to relinquish a box turtle or tortoise that you can no longer care for. We are an all-volunteer Society and process hundreds of rescues each month,  so please allow some time for a rescue team member in your area to respond. When you are contacted, our volunteer may ask that you download a relinquishment form, and have it completed and signed for them. Thank you. 

water turtle rescue

Thank you for contacting the San Diego Turtle and Tortoise Society about water turtles. Read the following to better understand our situation, and exactly how we can help you.

 IMPORTANT

* * *  Never just release a turtle!  This act is illegal in the State of California!  * * *

Except for the endangered Western Pond Turtle, water turtles are not native to California and they are an invasive species that causes serious harm to our State's environment. 

OUR CAPACITY

While we continue to have excellent capacity to rescue tortoises and land turtles, we are experiencing difficulties in handling the large number of requests we get about water turtles. We are being asked to take in more than 100 every month! 

This is a major challenge we continually face. Fortunately, we still have a few foster homes now setup that can handle this large number of incoming turtles. These are volunteer homes with substantial outdoor storage ponds where we can keep hundreds of healthy water turtles while searching for suitable new homes.  Any donation you can give towards the care and maintenance of these hundreds of turtles waiting for homes would be greatly appreciated.  

We know it might be a little inconvenient, but in order to efficiently handle the intake of so many found and relinquished aquatic turtles, we must strictly follow this intake process: 

Deliver your water turtles directly to Mr. Kim Thomas (Clairemont Mesa area of San Diego). You may drop off turtles on either Wednesdays 3:00p–5:00p or Saturdays 12:00p–5:00p. The relinquishment of your turtle(s) must be made to SDTTS as final and irreversible.  

Call first for Kim's address and to confirm your planned arrival time: (760) 504-6587. Kim is a very active volunteer and he has a very busy calendar. If he cannot answer, please leave your voicemail at his number and he will return your call as soon as he has some open time in his schedule.

PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS AND NEIGHBORS TO PLEASE NOT SUPPORT THE WATER TURTLE TRADE BY PURCHASING THEM AS PETS!  THEY ARE AN INVASIVE, NON-NATIVE SPECIES.  THERE ARE THOUSANDS AVAILABLE AND WAITING FOR ADOPTION, AND TENS-OF-THOUSANDS MORE THAT ARE ALREADY DISRUPTING MANY OF CALIFORNIA'S FRAGILE ECO-SYSTEMS. (MANY STATES AND COUNTRIES HAVE ALREADY OUTLAWED THEM).