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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I adopt a tortoise?
    Find everything you need to adopt directly from CTTR on our Adoption Page. If you don't see someone you like there, check back.
  • I found a turtle or tortoise. Now what do I do?
    A native species is one that occurs naturally in a particular ecosystem, and was not introduced by humans; in other words, a native species is one that belongs there. Texas has several different species of native water turtles, two species of box turtles, and one species of tortoise. In almost all cases, we strongly encourage you to enjoy the animal in the environment, but to #leavewildthingswild. Central Texas Tortoise Rescue does not have a current rehab license and does not accept surrendered wildlife, we only accept companion animals (pets). If you have removed a turtle or tortoise from the wild and need a safe place to surrender it, please see the wildlife rescues found at the bottom of the home page. However, if the animal is NOT native to Texas, they have either been abandoned or lost, and you can help by giving them a safe place to stay and then contacting us for assistance or rehoming options. If you are uncertain whether the animal you have found is native or not, please send us a picture and we can help you identify.
  • Can I adopt more than one tortoise?
    We do not permit adoptions of additional African or Mediterranean tortoises into one enclosure that already has one of that species. These tortoises are mostly solitary in the wild, and pet tortoises do not require a friend. If two African or Mediterranean tortoises are introduced in the same enclosure, they will often become aggressive and attack and sometimes even kill one another. Individuals of these species cannot be enclosed together. If a female is enclosed with a male, he will pursue her persistently. This is stressful for the female, will lower the strength of her immune system, and damage her cloaca because the males will abuse her so long as she is enclosed with them and incapable of escape. Read this to see how severe this harassment can be. We will only adopt multiple African or Mediterranean tortoises to an individual keeper that can provide adequate space and housing for these tortoises in completely separate enclosures. Some tortoise owners have found pairs of these species that cohabitate peacefully. This is great, but it is rare, and the risk of abuse is too high for us to adopt to keepers without separate enclosures. We put the well being of our animals at the highest priority, and are not willing to put them in this sort of risk. We allow South American tortoises and box turtles to be adopted into one enclosure, however, they need to be persistently monitored for signs of bullying or abuse. Their aggressive habits can change year round in response to a myriad of factors, so it is best to be aware of the signs rather than expect them to always cohabitate peacefully.
  • How did you get started?
    See the About CTTR page for the full story!
  • Why do you charge adoption fees?
    Our minimum annual operating expenses (vet bills, food, enclosure maintenance, etc.) are calculated based on financial records from previous years of operation and the average number of animals we receive each year. While donations are our primary source of funding, they can fluctuate, and required adoption fees provide a much more stable portion of our minimum operating expenses. Adoption fees enable us to securely continue operation, while donations enable us to go well above and beyond that, which is why CTTR has expanded to what it is today! If you would like to help CTTR continue to operate at such a capacity, you can donate here.
  • How do I find a new home for my tortoise/box turtle?
    Please see the rehoming page. If you need to surrender wildlife for rehabilitation, please see the wildlife rescues we recommend at the bottom of the home page.
  • Can I come for a tour of the rescue facility?
    You can schedule a tour of our Pflugerville rescue facility here. Our Bandera rescue facility does not offer tours. A $10 dollar donation per group is requested at each tour, but not required to visit.
  • Can I use the bathroom at the rescue?
    As CTTR operates from private residences, there are no bathrooms available for public use. There are gas stations within five to ten minutes from either of our locations, so please plan accordingly. Thank you for respecting our families' privacy.
  • How long does it take to get the results of my adoption application?
    If you've submitted the application and e-mailed your habitat photos, you will hear back within two weeks in most cases. If you didn't e-mail photos, your application will be denied. Photos submitted over Facebook or through text messages will not be considered for the application - it must be via email. Photos lacking proper authentication (something with your name and the date on it, in the same frame as the photo of the enclosure - without obscuring the enclosure itself) will not be considered for the application. If someone provides an image of an enclosure that is not truly their own (such as an image pulled from the internet), their application will be denied and they will be banned from applying to adopt from us in the future. We have a zero tolerance policy regarding fraudulent attempts to adopt - it endangers the animals in our care.
  • I live far away and can't get there to pick up/drop off a tortoise/box turtle. Can you meet me?
    If you cannot get to us to surrender or adopt, please let us know. We may have a foster home closer to you. We do not ship animals out, but we do accept animals that are shipped to us.
  • Will you keep my tortoise/box turtle forever?
    As we are a rescue rather than a sanctuary, we do not keep the animals we receive permanently (unless volunteers choose to adopt one themselves). The purpose of Central Texas Tortoise Rescue is to find new forever homes for animals that can no longer stay with their previous owners - we are not the end of their journey.
  • What should my long-term care plan be for my tortoise?
    It is highly likely that your tortoise will outlive you, and it’s absolutely okay if you do not yet have an inheritor in place. It’s important to have a frank conversation about this with loved ones you may consider as inheritors of the animal. If you’re adopting a tortoise for a child, understand that when they go to college or move to a place without a yard, they will likely have no healthy place to keep the animal and a plan must be in place to get the animal to a suitable environment. As with all animals, the preferred recipient of a tortoise or turtle should be made clear in your will.
  • Why do you require so much space?
    It is our firm belief that captive tortoises and turtles deserve to be respected as the wide-ranging animals that they are, and that means giving them room to exercise, sunny places to bask, shady places to hide, and - above all - space wide enough that they can be happy and healthy animals. Tortoises and box turtles need to be able to choose where they want to hide or bask, to have an adequate amount of live vegetation (for which land area is required), and to roam and explore even familiar territory, like an enclosure, in order to thrive. Large tortoises like sulcatas walk to process their food. This causes them to trample large spaces in their enclosure, leaving less grass to graze. There must be enough space to continue to graze. To this end and to ensure a varied diet, we ask that adopters plant plenty of edible forage to encourage the tortoise's or box turtle's natural behavior. Information on what types of vegetation are healthy and edible can be found at The Tortoise Table. CTTR’s commitment is to never reduce an animal’s circumstances, and if the habitat in question doesn’t put the animal in a better situation than it is currently in under our temporary care (i.e., larger habitat space), we will hold them until a better habitat comes along.
  • What are the requirements for an adoption?
    Information about the adoption process can be found at the Adopt page.
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