The Central MS Turtle Rescue provides rescue and rehabilitation for injured, sick, abused, neglected, or abandoned turtles and tortoises with the goal of releasing all rehabilitated native, wild turtles back to their natural environment or seeking adopted homes when release is not possible. We also provide education to the public about turtle conservation, and provide pet turtle owners with education about proper husbandry, diet and medical care.
SPECIAL NOTE: Due to COVID-19, FedEx is experiencing an increase in shipping volume and a shortage of staff. This is causing some potentially life-threatening delays with live animal shipping. Due to this, we are suspending shipping of adopted turtles until the COVID-19 threat is over and FedEx is back to normal operations. We apologize for any inconvenience. Adopted turtles can still be picked up locally in Florence, Mississippi.
By state law, our facility is NOT open to the public. We are a home-based group and therefore do not offer open tours to view the turtles in our care. Once you submit your application, we will be in touch and, if approved, can set up an appointment to view the turtle you're interested in. Detailed information about each available turtle is available on request.
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-In most cases, minimum enclosure size for a single adult box turtle is 15 square feet. (Smaller enclosures will be considered for young box turtles if adopter is willing to up-size as the turtle grows.)
-Glass tanks are never appropriate for box turtles or tortoises.
-Minimum tank size for an aquatic turtle is 10 gallons of water for every inch of shell length.
-Space requirements for tortoises vary depending on species. No matter the type of turtle, more space is always better.
-Pre-approved 24-hour/day predator-proofing is required for any turtle that will be housed outdoors. No exceptions.
-We will check your references, including your current vet. We believe that prior vet history with your current or past pets provides great insight on how you treat animals in your care.
-We will not supply mass turtle breeders. If your intent is to adopt a turtle from us and breed him or her repeatedly for profitable gain, please look elsewhere.
Please remember that most of the turtles we offer for adoption are wild animals. They were not bred to be pets and were not raised as pets. The only reason they are in captivity and are available for adoption is because they cannot be released. We favor adopters who intend to provide an environment as closely resembling their natural environment as possible, or as close to that as possible considering any special needs the turtle may have.
We do not charge an adoption fee and we do not sell any turtles. All potential adopters will be heavily screened. We are willing to ship out of state, on a case-by-case basis - adopter pays all shipping costs. If a turtle is to be shipped out of state, the adoption must also first be approved by the MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Shipping is temperature-sensitive. Depending on where you live, we may not be able to ship to you during summer or winter. There will be absolutely no adoptions, local or otherwise, between Thanksgiving and New Year.
Please be familiar with your state and local laws. We will not willingly or knowingly adopt any turtle where it is prohibited to do so by law. In Mississippi, you MUST possess a "valid Resident Sportsman's License, a Resident All Game Hunting and Freshwater Fishing License, a Small Game Hunting and Freshwater Fishing License, or a Non-Resident All Game Hunting License" to possess native turtles. Further, "no person shall possess more than a total of 20 nongame reptiles" and of that 20 "no more than four (4) can be of the same species or subspecies." Mississippi Code of 1972, Section 49-5-107. More on Mississippi laws regarding turtles, frogs, salamanders, or snakes can be found on the website of the MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.