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Adoption Philosophy

We believe every captive box turtle or tortoise deserves to live outdoors where it can enjoy natural sunlight, dirt and grass, lots of plants to eat or hide under, lots of hiding places, clean fresh water, and a chance for hunting or grazing as if it were in the wild. We provide minimum habitat size requirements below, but encourage you to provide the largest habitat that your space allows, as free-ranging tortoises in the wild use ranges measured in hectares or square miles.

Adoption Process

  1. We don’t ship/transport or meet part way. Your adoption will take place on site in San Marcos.
  2. Submit your application for the animal you are interested in (please note that we do not have the manpower to respond to adoption inquiries submitted over e-mail, please use the adoption application).
  3. E-mail your photos with authentication (your name on a piece of paper is fine) in the same frame as the picture, to: krista@texastortoiserescue.com in accordance with the instructions provided in the application.
  4. We will review your completed application once we receive the photos and follow up with any questions we have.
  5. Once you’re approved, you will receive a calendar link to schedule the adoption. Please note that our availability IS limited to the available dates and times in our calendar. If dates are greyed out it is because we have reached the maximum number of appointments that we can accommodate for that day. The calendar link is a live link that will update daily to show you our availability over a 30-day period. If nothing works for you, check back in a few days, as more dates will have opened up.

African Tortoises (sulcata or leopard torts)

Minimum space required to adopt from CTTR: 6,000 square feet of yard 

  • Sulcatas can reach 150lbs or more. Leopard tortoises can reach 80lbs or more.
  • African tortoises may live to be over 100 years old and need to be included in an estate plan and/or a plan for when they become too heavy to care for as their keepers age.
  • These tortoises are from the African savanna, and they are evolved to eat grass and cactus, not fruit and not grocery store produce (stay away from dark leafy greens!). Keeping them on a natural diet is how they’ll stay healthiest and live the longest.
  • African tortoises need heated winter housing that they can access whenever outdoor temps drop below 50 degrees. READ THIS NOW.
  • Your current tortoise is not lonely and does not need a friend. We won’t adopt to a multi-sulcata home

Mediterranean Tortoises
(Russian, Greek, Hermann’s)

Minimum space required to adopt from CTTR: 100 square foot enclosure

  • Mediterranean tortoises may reach up to 3lbs and live 50 – 80 years.
  • Enclosures should have a mix of sun and shade areas to allow tortoises to thermoregulate.
  • Enclosures should have a lid to prevent raccoons or other predators (if the enclosure is not already inside of a fenced yard).
  • Enclosures should have an overhanging lip on the top to prevent climbing out.
  • These tortoises are primarily herbivores and should be allowed to graze on grass, cactus, and other tortoise-safe plants that are planted in their enclosure.
  • Most Mediterranean tortoises brumate in the winter, so you may not see them much between December and April.
  • We do not recommend keeping more than one in an enclosure. Many of these tortoises will fight amongst themselves in groups of multiple males or may pursue females so aggressively as to cause injury, illness, or death. Read more here.

Box Turtles

Minimum space required to adopt from CTTR: 100 square foot enclosure

  • Box turtles may reach up to approximately 1lb and live 50 – 80 years.
  • Enclosures should have a lid to prevent raccoons or other predators (if the enclosure is not already inside of a fenced yard).
  • Enclosures should have an overhanging lip on the top to prevent climbing out.
  • Box turtles are omnivores and will eat worms and bugs and also graze on grass, cactus, and other tortoise-safe plants that are planted in their enclosure.
  • Most box turtles brumate in the winter, so you may not see them much between December and April.
  • Box turtles generally get along in groups; however, if multiple animals are housed together they need to be monitored closely for signs of stress or fighting.

Red/yellow-footed Tortoises

Minimum space required to adopt from CTTR: 600 square feet of yard/enclosure

  • Red-footed tortoises may reach up to 30lbs and live 50 – 80 years.
  • These tortoises are from tropical areas of South America and should have a lush yard with many hiding places.
  • Red-footed tortoises are omnivores and will eat small animals, worms and bugs and also graze on grass, cactus, and other tortoise-safe plants that are planted in their enclosure.
  • Red-footed tortoises need heated winter housing that they can access whenever outdoor temps drop below 50 degrees. READ THIS NOW.
  • Red-footed tortoises generally get along in groups; however, if multiple animals are housed together they need to be monitored closely for signs of stress or fighting.