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Open Letter to Parents Regarding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie

Dear Parents:

We’re asking you to save a turtle’s life and perhaps even your child’s. What can you do to help? Buy Ninja action figures and toys instead of live turtles. This month, your children will be enjoying the extremely popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. It’s fun and great entertainment.

We are writing to ask for your help. Since the first movie was released in 1990, hundreds of thousands of live turtles, mostly water turtles called red eared sliders, were purchased for between $10 and $25 after each ninja movie was released. The result?  Many, if not most, were dumped and even deliberately killed or flushed down the toilet.

Children do not realize that real turtles do not fly, perform stunts or do any of the exciting moves fictional movie turtles do. Parents, trying to please their children, purchase live turtles which end up languishing in tanks. Most of these turtles are taken out of the wild and sold through pet stores, breeders, swap meets, flea markets and mercados for profit. Later, the turtles are dumped illegally into rivers and lakes as well as dumpsters, flushed down toilets or relinquished to shelters and overcrowded rescues.  It’s estimated that 90 percent die. 

Turtles carry salmonella which can make a child, the elderly and those who are immune suppressed very, very sick and can even kill them. That’s why turtles less than four inches were banned from sale in the U.S. in 1974 and still are…tiny turtles easily fit into a child’s mouth and children don’t wash their hands after touching turtles. It’s an ugly problem causing nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and even death. We do not recommend live turtles or tortoises for children under 13 because of salmonella exposure.

Turtles have been around for 200 million years and outlived the dinosaur.  Is this the way we want to treat our precious disappearing wildlife? Save a turtle’s life, and perhaps even your child’s.

Please watch this great video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2PD3kLfYlA.

Thank you.  Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, Co-Founders

World Turtle Day® 2016 was the best ever. We must save the turtles and tortoises form extinction.  Read more here http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0525/On-World-Turtle-Day-how-are-the-reptiles-faring  

World_Turtle_Day_3h.jpgIt's World Turtle Day 2016 on May 23rd! Join the fun and win great prizes, enter photo contests and have a party on us with a special party pack! #Shellebrate #WorldTurtleDay by joining our mobile loyalty club where you will get first crack at special tips, gifts and fun! Just text the word turtles to 51555. Follow World Turtle Day on Facebook and visit the website at WorldTurtleDay.org.  See you soon!

Jameyportrait.jpgFollow Jamey's Journey to Wellness! Jamey was very ill - she's a South American Wood Turtle. She did not weather the rain well and got a bad infection. She's on the mend (we hope), but you can follow her journey by texting "Jamey" to 51555. Thank you for caring and sending Jamey healthy wishes and prayers! 

Mobile messaging powered by Mobilecause


 Five Ways Turtles and Tortoises Say "I Love You!"
1. They smack their lips when they see you coming.
2. They go to bed without prodding.
3. They look right at you.
4. They always look like they're smiling.
5. They swim right up to you.

Join the ATR 'Mobile Loyalty Club' and you'll hear about cool ideas, adoptions, merchandise and contests first! To join



kidkissingturtle.jpgYou see a cute reptile, I see a Salmonella factory. Multiple states, US Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine investigated two multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with small turtles in 2015. Read more by following this link…http://barfblog.com/2015/10/more-turtles-more-salmonella



Please like us on Facebook at American Tortoise Rescue and follow us on Twitter at @tortoiserescue.  Make our turtles happy!


Happy New Year 2015! Click to see our video message!


Do You Like Shopping at Amazon.com As Much As We Do?

Well, please join the crowd and sign up for Amazon Smile!  Just select American Tortoise Rescue as your charity, and from then on for every purchase you make (it's automatic), we get .05% of the total order.  It's simple.  Want to help?  Just click this link.


Love, Susan and Marshall

Evil Knievel - Resident Troublemaker

American Tortoise Rescue

"Like" World Turtle Day on Facebook!

Welcome to American Tortoise Rescue from Popcorn the Sulcata

Check it out

Download Now! Click Here - Where Have All The Turtles Gone" A PowerPoint Presentation


This is Bunkle, the very first land turtle we rescued in 1990He is the boss of the turtle yard and is a total lady's man.  He is also the rescue's mascot.

Mission Statement


American Tortoise Rescue is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to the protection of turtles and tortoises throughout the world.  

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