**There will be a delay in responding to applications until May.**

Your bond with your tortoise or box turtle will last forever, and we are so excited to be a part of it! Once we have you matched with an animal, we’ll schedule an appointment to meet you and have you take your new shell baby home.

If you are interested in adopting, simply follow the instructions below and we’ll walk you through the process. Thanks!

What should I know before filling out an adoption application?

Read. Consume every piece of information you possibly can about the species you are interested in – and I’m not talking about information from pet stores or pet books; I mean real information about their habits and ecology. We know that you will love your new little family member, and we want to help you take steps to show that love in a way that is the absolute healthiest and most stress free for your new chelonian.

Things to think about are: How do they live in the wild? What is their habitat like (humid? dry? warm? cool? desert? grassland? forest?)? What do they eat in the wild? Before you fill out an adoption application, make sure that you are prepared to replicate (as closely as possible, of course) the natural habitat and diet for the animal you choose. The Tortoise Table might be able to help you identify some plants to plant in the habitat you’re building – many you can find on clearance at your local home improvement shop. Don’t forget about water, it’s pretty easy to dig a shallow pond and toss a pond liner over it, held with rocks at the edges to keep the liner from slipping in. Even desert species should have access to a water source. Check out the Tortoise Care Tips that we’ve compiled to help you!

Know what kind of species you are interested in, and build a secure, appropriate outdoor enclosure where your tortoise or box turtle will live full time. Some species (sulcata, red-footed tortoise, leopard tortoise) will need an enclosure that has access to electricity for their heated winter house. Adopting from CTTR requires a naturalistic outdoor enclosure with tortoise-safe vegetation, housing or hiding places, and access to water.

A note to sulcata owners. Your tortoise is not “lonely.” Your tortoise does not need a “companion.” Two males will fight, a male and a female will breed. If you already have a sulcata tortoise, please do not fill out an adoption application for another sulcata. Thanks for your understanding.

What are the steps for adopting through CTTR?

  1. Familiarize yourself with our procedures (this page).

  2. Fill out an application

    You will be taken to a separate page. Please be as thorough as you can while filling out your application. The more information we have, the better we can match you to the perfect shell-baby! Unfortunately, we cannot reply to adoption inquiries submitted over e-mail. We have to rely on the adoption application forms in order to track our adoption inquiries. Even if you don’t see an animal you want right now, we encourage you to fill out an adoption application and be added to our waiting list! 

  3. E-mail enclosure photos. 

    We’d love to see how you’ve got your outdoor enclosure set up! That way we can recommend improvements if necessary, but also borrow ideas from you for our own 🙂
    Acceptable enclosure photos show you and/or a newspaper with the date or piece of mail with your name on it.

  4. Please be patient.

    We’re busy, just like you are. Between our full time day jobs, the raising of two very active teenagers, and running the rescue during every spare moment, sometimes we simply don’t take the time or energy to read or respond to e-mails and adoption applications right away. Sometimes we’re already underneath a pile of applications and are busy working through them from the oldest first. A safe approach is to shoot me an e-mail if you haven’t heard anything in about a month…sometimes I just need a nudge 🙂

  5. Set an appointment. 

    Once your adoption application is approved, we will send you a link to our calendar of availability. You can choose a date and time that work for you, and you will be presented with our address at that time (for your planning purposes, we are in San Marcos, Texas).

  6. Show up.

    It is very important that you keep this appointment, or contact me to reschedule as soon as you know you will not make it. Missed appointments lead to logistical (tortoise housing) issues on our end because we carefully schedule intakes and adoptions. We have full lives and we schedule our few spare moments around uniting shell babies with forever families, and if you stand us up without notice your adoption application will be cancelled and the animal you applied for will not be held for you. Please read my rant about scheduling, here. 

We have a $75 adoption fee for most animals. Your adoption fee goes toward caring for all of the tortoises and box turtles here at CTTR. Read this post for a breakdown of how your adoption fee is applied.