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Mid-Atlantic Turtle and Tortoise Society

Baltimore, MD

Our Mission

Please note, we DO NOT have a shelter. All fostering is done from our homes.

Conservation, Education, Adoption.

We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in February, 1997, directed by concerned hobbyists and professionals, who saw a need to reach out to the public and improve the conditions under which pet turtles and tortoises are kept and try to protect local species and their habitats.

We also offer an adoptions program to help displaced or unwanted pet turtles and tortoise find new, loving homes. We are licensed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to find new homes for unwanted and/or non-releasable pet native turtles.

More information on MATTS can be found at

The turtles and tortoises available for adoption come from a variety of sources. Some are given up by their owners and some are from animal control facilities and shelters. Pet turtles cannot be released "to the wild" for a variety of reasons. Since most pet turtles have unknown histories, or were purchased from pet stores, they cannot be released for fear that they have come into contact with non-native animals while being kept as pets. In most states it is illegal to release a pet of any kind, even a turtle, to help protect native species that might be affected by diseases transmitted by non-native animals.

Turtles are given up for adoption for many of the same reasons that dogs and cats are offered for adoption. Often the turtle is an impulse purchase, and the turtle is given up when it grows too big and is too hard to care for. Turtles become victims of divorce, children going to college, owners relocating, owners passing away, marriage, and new babies in a home.

WARNING: Any reptile has the potential to carry salmonella. Always wash hands after handling a turtle or touching any equipment that comes into contact with the turtle or the enclosure.

PLEASE NOTE: MATTS CANNOT adopt out-of-country. We DO NOT export.

Please review care information before considering a turtle. Here's a great book on aquatics, and it can be downloaded for free

For box turtles, visit

Our Facebook page is

Adoption Policy

Please DO NOT CALL until after you've emailed to request an application. INCLUDE YOUR CITY and STATE when contacting MATTS. Not all turtles are legal in all states, and we need to know your location to know if you will be legally able to adopt a specific turtle.

Please e-mail to request an application.

Our turtles come with a no sale, no trade adoption contract upon adoption. Shipping is possible if temperatures allow, via FedEx next day shipping, for delivery on a Wednesday or Thursday. We've been shipping turtles for 20 years, and it's very humane, and better than how many turtles are transported to pet stores. Adopters must pay for shipping, and depending on location and turtle size, shipping may be between $50 and $110 for a typical turtle.

Recommended Pets

Recommended Pets